Private ScubaInformation DivingHealth & Safety › Appendectomy

Scuba Diving after Appendix Surgery

On the whole, having your appendix removed is not a contraindication for future scuba diving activities because an appendectomy for a septic appendix is typically completely curative.

So now you may be asking, when can I go back to diving after an appendectomy? If so, this help guide will answer the question.

Appendectomy and Scuba Diving Guidelines

Many years ago, the typical incision for removing an appendix involved a large cut on the abdomen.

Furthermore, it might also have required a large up to down incision if the appendix had already burst.

Nowadays, the removal of an appendix requires very minimal invasive surgery.

More often than not, laparoscopic surgery uses short narrow tubes to remove the "worm-shaped" muscular structure attached to the large intestine.

As a result, a successful operation may only need three tiny holes (less than one centimetre in length). A camera goes through one hole and the other two axis points allow the surgeon to perform the excision.

How Soon Can You Return to Diving?

Let's assume you had a laparoscopy, there was minimal surgical damage, and there were no serious complications with the appendectomy scar.

In this instance, the Divers Alert Network (DAN) recommends waiting at least four (4) to six (6) weeks of recovery time following any surgical procedure.

Remember, in most cases any return to scuba diving will involve lifting heavy objects and experiencing the effects of increased pressure underwater.

As such, it would be prudent to wait for at least six weeks and get the all clear from a diving physician before you get back in the water.

Pro Tip: The main section contains more information about scuba diving safety and how certain kinds of medical conditions may prevent you from participating in water-based activities.

Divers also enjoyed reading about...