DAN Medical Frequently Asked Questions

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Abdominal Surgery

I'm about to undergo admoninal surgery. Will this prevent me from diving again?

This is a surgical procedure in which a portion of the intra-abdominal contents or the abdominal wall has been removed, manipulated or repaired.

Diving in the ocean exposes the skin to innumerable microorganisms. To minimize infection, divers should allow surgical wounds to heal fully before diving. A small proportion of abdominal wounds may develop into incisional hernias, leading to bowel entrapment. One should avoid swimming or lifting heavy objects such as scuba tanks until the abdominal muscles have fully recovered from surgery (4-6 weeks). As for when to resume swimming and diving, a surgeon can best assess the wound’s status.

And, the fatigue and lack of general fitness present after any surgery can limit a diver. Gradual exercise under the direction of a doctor may help the diver regain cardiovascular performance and general fitness.