A: Swimming in certain bodies of water with a PD catheter can increase your risk for peritonitis due to exposure to certain bacteria and microorganisms. Keeping your exit site dry is very important so if the exit site gets wet you should immediately clean and apply a new dressing. When your PD catheter is new you should avoid exposure to water and typically avoid showers until approved by MD. Once your PD catheter is fully healed as determined by your clinical team and categorized by the PD RN and Nephrologist as perfect you may be able to swim in the ocean or personal swimming pool. Ultimately this type of decision should be made with your local clinical PD team. They know what is best for you based on your PD catheter and overall clinical status and what your infection history is. Well water can be a risk in some areas depending on bacterial count. We also recommend that you bleach your home shower head monthly to decrease exposure to water specific organisms such as pseudomonas which can be very difficult to treat. It really comes down to discussions with your MD and PD RN which will help you determine what your options are to ensure you remain infection free. Ultimately the goal is to keep your exit site free from infection and avoid any episode of peritonitis. We know that some patients love to swim or take a bath so have this discussion with your clinical PD team and determine what options are best suited for you.
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