Sleeping well after a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) is essential for a full recovery. In order to recover effectively and stay healthy, choosing the right sleeping position after tummy tuck surgery is vital. Let’s look at what positions you should use when sleeping after an abdominoplasty, as well as what positions to avoid.
Sleeping After a Tummy Tuck: What to Expect
After surgery, your body needs time and rest to heal naturally. Most patients are able to return to light activity after about 2 or 3 weeks, with a full recovery in about 6 to 8 weeks. Until then, exercise, heavy lifting, and strenuous physical activity should be avoided. The same is true for certain sleeping positions that could inhibit the healing process.
An abdominoplasty requires patience and commitment to heal from, and the healing process includes changing the way that you sleep for a few months. In the first week after the procedure, patients will often experience some bruising, swelling, and discomfort in the treatment area; sleeping in the wrong way can exacerbate these side effects. Patients should attentively follow their surgeon’s aftercare instructions, including maintaining the correct sleeping position. This can be uncomfortable for some people and might take some getting used to, but it’s worth making the changes to heal quickly and correctly.
After surgery, your body goes into overdrive trying to heal incisions, fight off infections, and remove any anesthesia. This can be physically exhausting, making sleep even more important. When you’re sleeping, your body can focus all of its attention on the healing process. Without the right amount of sleep in a position that’s conducive to healing, your body may take longer to heal and struggle while doing so.
Sleeping Positions and Other Options
Since sleeping after a tummy tuck is so important, you need to understand how to do it correctly and comfortably. Here are a few tips that can help you get the type of sleep your body needs.
Sleeping on Your Back After Tummy Tuck
The best sleeping position after a tummy tuck is to lie on your back with your upper body elevated. Your body should be slightly bent and form a gentle angle. Using a recliner or the right combination of pillows can help you achieve this position.
When you get in this position, any pressure or strain on your incision is relieved. That makes post-operative complications less likely if you can remain in this position for all the hours you’re sleeping. Staying like this also prevents the likelihood of your rolling onto your stomach during the night. Rolled-up towels or extra pillows can make great buffers to make sure that you don’t move too much.
While this might not seem like the most comfortable choice, most people find this to be the most comfortable option after surgery. It alleviates any tension and lets you relax so you can get the rest you need.
Using Compression Garments
Compression garments are helpful in healing your incision. They aid with fluid absorption and scar healing while helping the skin conform to its new position. Additionally, they can help stop stretching when you move during the night, making sleep more comfortable and easier to maintain uninterrupted.
You’ll most likely be set up with a binder or girdle garment and told to wear it at all times for the first three weeks after surgery. This can make you more comfortable at night while helping your body heal correctly.
What Positions to Avoid After Surgery
Sleeping on your side or stomach after a tummy tuck are both bad options for the healing process. These positions can cause blood pooling in the treatment area, which can make the swelling and bruising much worse. It can also cause the healing process to take longer than usual.
These positions are also likely to be painful for people recovering from an abdominoplasty, as they can irritate the incision and put pressure in uncomfortable places. These factors are great motivators in helping people make temporary adjustments to the way they sleep at night.
When Can I Sleep on My Stomach After a Tummy Tuck?
Sleeping after a tummy tuck requires that you change your normal position until you’ve fully recovered. However, recovery times for this type of surgery can vary depending on the procedure. In general, a mini-tuck may heal fully in 1 or 2 weeks, while a full procedure typically takes 6 to 8 weeks. Remember: These are only general estimates, and you should always consult with your surgeon about your personal recovery timeline.
At Bronx Plastic Surgery, Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Robert Goldstein can answer questions about abdominoplasty and other plastic surgery procedures, recovery times, and more during your consultation. If you’re looking to get a tummy tuck or learn how the procedure can help meet your aesthetic goals, contact us today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Goldstein.