How Are You Supposed To Sleep After A Tummy Tuck?

If you’ve been thinking about having a tummy tuck (TT) to refresh and enhance the way you look and possibly restore the stability of your core, you have probably been doing some research to see what the entire operation and healing process entails. If you are like most people, your daily schedule is packed full, so you are particularly interested in learning about the downtime involved in this entire process.

You may also have specific questions about how you are supposed to get a good night’s sleep after your operation and if you can sleep on your side two weeks after a tummy tuck. If you think about it, how do you get out of bed in the morning? You need your stomach muscles to help you sit up, so is it possible to sleep in your own bed after abdominoplasty without jeopardizing the results you are trying to get?

Today we will give you a quick overview of what this surgery involves and offer some key strategies for recovery and sleeping that will get you and your new body back to your normal routine as quickly as possible.

What Is Involved In This Procedure?

The medical term for the popular tummy tuck procedure is abdominoplasty, and it is done to shape and define the stomach area by eliminating surplus skin and fat. Sometimes carrying extra weight can damage or tear the muscles in your midsection, and the surgeon can repair this during your surgery. This helps to strengthen your core, align your spine, and create a flatter, more attractive stomach area. This operation can take anywhere between two and four hours, depending on the extent of cosmetic correction needed.

Getting Your Recovery Space Ready

When you are getting ready for your recovery from your TT, you may have already thought about how you will pass the time and have downloaded a new e-book on your Kindle, or maybe you are planning to binge-watch something on Netflix. But have you given any thought to how you will get around during your initial recovery period or prepare your sleeping area? You may be surprised to learn that you are not able to sleep on your back with your body flat for anywhere between 3 and 6 weeks, depending on the type of TT you had.

When you rise from a lying position, your stomach muscles must work to help you pull yourself up. For the first several weeks, you want to let these muscles just chill and fully heal, especially if they had to be repaired during the procedure. It is also important to avoid putting any type of strain on the incisions, including pulling, pushing, or stretching, so they do not split apart. It is advisable to practice moving from different positions without using these muscles, so after your surgery, you will already be a pro.

The Best Way To Sleep After A Tummy Tuck

“When can I sleep on my side?” is one of the most frequently asked questions by patients who have had this surgery, which is not really surprising because around 60% of the adult population sleeps on their side. Usually, around the three-week mark, you will be able to sleep on your side without putting too much pressure on the new incisions.

When you first come home after your surgery, you will need to sleep with your head higher than your heart, or in what is usually referred to as an elevated position. Swelling is part of the body’s natural healing response, so to mitigate your discomfort, you must wear your prescribed compression garments and sleep in an elevated position. In addition to ensuring that they alleviate the swelling, it is even more important to not cause any pulling or stretching of your stitches. The best way to do this is to keep your body in a bent-over position when standing or sleeping for at least the first week or two.

Some patients can use numerous pillows to create an elevated sleeping position in their normal bed. There are also wedge-shaped pillows that you can purchase that can help with the proper positioning and will work both with a bed and when resting on the couch. The key for the first few weeks is to stay elevated and bent at the waist.

Most patients prefer to sit and sleep in a recliner for the duration of their recovery because it automatically keeps their body in a bent and elevated position. Also, when you need to get up, it is easier to use your arms to lift yourself up from a partially reclined position. You may find a local option where you can rent a medical recliner. They come with a wide range of different capabilities that can help lift you to a standing position and have multiple adjustments available to help you remain comfortable so you can get the rest you need.

Try To Prepare In Advance

If you are a side or stomach sleeper, it would be a good idea to try sleeping in the position that will help you heal after your TT surgery. The more rest you get after your operation, the faster your body will heal and the quicker you can return to your favorite comfy way of sleeping.

If you have purchased special pillows or are renting a special recliner, begin using them about a week before your surgery so you will know if you need to make any adjustments to your plan. Get your recovery area ready and have everything you need within your reach so you can minimize the number of times you need to get up.

Tummy tuck pillow

Preparing Wholesome Snacks And Meals In Advance

Part of your recovery depends on how well you take care of yourself. This includes eating a balanced diet that includes enough protein and selections from the other food groups and drinking plenty of water.

Set Up Some Help

Make sure you keep in mind that after your TT, things that you just did without thinking about are not going to be possible for several weeks. For example, you will not be able to lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk, which means you can’t scoop up that baby or pick up your toddler. If you have pets, you are not going to be able to take the dog out for a walk, or if you have a large dog you may not be able to lift the bag of dog food.

It is important to identify these things before your operation and have some friends or family members designated to help with them for at least two to three weeks while you recover. Take it slow and think about your safety and the safety of others. You don’t want to drive until you are fully capable. This can be easier said than done when you have kids that need rides and the “mom pressure” is turned up too high, but give yourself enough time to heal before you dive into the carpool line. You may be surprised to learn how many people are super willing to help if you just ask.

You may be interested in learning about strategies for sleeping if you are combining your TT with a buttock lift or what results you will get if you combine a plus-size tummy tuck with a BBL, and information on these subjects and more can be found in the SurgiCare Arts & Aesthetics Blog.

Dr. Angelina Postoev, a triple board-certified cosmetic surgeon, offers tummy tucks, buttock lifts, and other body-shaping procedures in her conveniently located offices. One of our SurgiCare Arts & Aesthetics expert professionals would love to speak with you about how we can help you realize your aesthetic dreams. Set up your consultation today!

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