Hot Tub Use with a PEG Tube in Place

Katrina Claghorn, MS, RD
Last Modified: November 1, 2001

Dear OncoLink "Ask the Experts,"
I had a squamous cell cancer removed, via a radical neck dissection. The pathology was very clean, but the 6 cm size of the tumor (growing on my right tonsil) has my doctor recommending radiation follow up. I have been using a hot tub to relieve stiffness in my shoulder. Once I get the PEG tube, will I no longer be able to fully submerge?

Katrina Claghorn, MS, RD, registered dietitian at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania, responds:

It is generally recommended that you not submerge a PEG tube until 3-4 weeks after it has been placed. Once the site has healed you can bathe, swim or sit in a hot tub. However it is not advisable to swim in the ocean because the salt might aggravate the wound.