Recovery time and swimming

Hi all,

I know it’s trivial, but I’m having surgery soon for right side Styloid removal via external incision…

My Son is starting school in sept so we are desperately hoping to go on holiday before then, so I am questioning, how long after surgery would I be able to go on holiday. It would consist of flying, driving, and predominantly swimming in a pool. Not expecting to be too active, but wondering what surgeons have recommended / how long the Incision needs to heal and be safe in a swimming pool?

Thanks for any advice!

Honestly, nobody knows how long will it take specifically for you to recover, as some people go hiking three days later after the surgery, while some get semi-permanently (or permanently) worse after the surgery and need to undergo more procedures (like neck fusions). But these are perhaps extremes.

More likely, your recovery until you feel comfortable to do physical activities like swimming may take from ten days to perhaps three months given no complications during the procedure.

I was advised (by the nurse) not to strain my neck for at least two weeks post op (bilateral), including not lifting anything more than 10lbs/4kg.

Plopping into the water in general should be safe as soon as the external incision properly heals (to avoid infections, reopening, etc.), but obviously that depends on how well you will feel after the surgery and what your expectations from “swimming” are.

Incisions in my case took about two weeks to heal to the level that it wasn’t a wound anymore but like a fresh scar. I guess that was the critical point in my case. But traveling by busses for about two hours at once was still a brutal experience three weeks later (though I had bilateral op).


I agree with @vdm , just to add that I found driving was too uncomfortable as I couldn’t turn my head properly after my first surgery, so I didn’t drive for 3-4 weeks. It was easier after my second surgery though.
And also worth noting that the IH symptoms from IJV compression of head pressure especially did return when I flew (a couple of years after the first surgery!), so be aware that you might feel a little rough, although if it’s only a short flight for some summer sun it might not be too bad, ours was long haul…

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