How To Sleep After a Tummy Tuck for Optimum Rest

A woman sleeping in a bed. (Model)

Getting good, restful sleep after your tummy tuck surgery is vital to your recovery. Studies show that post-op patients who enjoy quality sleep usually experience less pain and heal more quickly than those who sleep poorly.

Still, sleeping well after surgery can be a challenge. General anesthesia, pain medication, and a host of physical reactions to surgical trauma make sleep disturbance a common experience after surgery. Having strategies in place to maximize your postoperative sleep can help. Below, we break down how to sleep after a tummy tuck and share our top tips to help you enjoy a smooth recovery.

Choose the Right Sleeping Position

The optimal tummy tuck sleeping position is on your back. Sleeping in a recliner or propped up with pillows can help you maintain a comfortable position and prevent extra strain or pressure on the incisions.

One way to ease the transition is to practice sleeping on your back in the days or weeks leading up to your procedure.

Maintain Proper Elevation

Keep your upper body elevated at a 30- to 45-degree angle for at least 2 weeks to minimize swelling, ensure proper drainage of fluids, and enhance circulation. You may consider getting a wedge-shaped pillow designed for postoperative recovery or use extra pillows to keep the desired angle.

How long you’ll sleep elevated after a tummy tuck will depend on your surgeon’s guidance, the type of tummy tuck you’ve had, and individual healing rates. Mini tummy tuck patients can generally start reducing the elevation after 2 weeks, while full tummy tuck patients may need 3 to 4.

Be Patient

Many patients may be anxious to return to their original sleeping positions as soon as possible, but doing so prematurely can compromise your results and set back your healing.

If you are wondering when can I sleep on my stomach or side after a tummy tuck, the answer is typically around 6 weeks. Your surgeon will advise you on when it is safe to adjust your sleeping position. You can learn more about the tummy tuck recovery process in our related blog post.

Before & After Tummy Tuck Case 117 View #1 View in Brooklyn, Staten Island, Queens, NY
Before & After Tummy Tuck
Before & After Tummy Tuck Case 121 View #1 View in Brooklyn, Staten Island, Queens, NY
Before & After Tummy Tuck
Before & After Tummy Tuck Case 243 Left Side View in Brooklyn, Staten Island, Queens, NY
Before & After Tummy Tuck
Before & After Tummy Tuck Case 198 View #4 View in Brooklyn, Staten Island, Queens, NY
Before & After Tummy Tuck

Tips To Support Your Tummy Tuck Recovery

In addition to how you sleep, what you do during your recovery (and when you do it) matters. Here are some of our top tips to ensure a successful recovery.

  • Stay Hydrated: Adequate hydration is essential for healing. Drink plenty of water to support your recovery and reduce the risk of postoperative injury and complications.
  • Follow Your Surgeon’s Instructions: Always adhere to your surgeon’s postoperative instructions. These instructions are tailored to your unique case and are vital for a smooth recovery.
  • Utilize Compression Garments: Compression garments minimize swelling and provide support during healing. Wear them as recommended by your surgeon.
  • Avoid Strenuous Activities: Steer clear of strenuous activities and heavy lifting during the initial recovery phase. This will prevent complications and ensure your incision heals properly.
  • Prioritize Nutrition and Rest: Maintain a balanced diet rich in nutrients that aid healing. Get plenty of rest to allow your body to recover effectively.

Take the Next Step

If you have any questions or concerns about your tummy tuck recovery, don’t hesitate to reach out to your surgeon for guidance. Your surgical team is there to support you at every step of the way. To learn more about tummy tucks at our plastic surgery practice, please request a consultation or call us at (718) 720-9400 to get started.

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