If you are contemplating a tummy tuck, you probably have several questions about the recovery stage. Most people, for example, want to know how to sleep after a tummy tuck without straining their incisions. Fortunately, there are many ways to comfortably rest after your tummy tuck without sleeping on your stomach or side. In this post, I’ll offer some tips for relaxing and sleeping after your procedure.
Sleep on Your Back
The best position to sleep after your tummy tuck is on your back. This position might be uncomfortable if you usually sleep on your side or stomach, but most patients get used to this position quickly. Sleeping on your stomach or side can strain your incisions and result in post-operative complications. If you have trouble sleeping on your back, try sleeping in a recliner. Recliners won’t allow you to move or roll over inadvertently while you’re sleeping, and they often make it easier to get up in the morning. You can also use pillows or rolled-up towels under your knees to support your lower back and around your sides to anchor your position and make you feel more comfortable.
Sleep With Your Upper Body Elevated
Along with sleeping on your back, it’s important to keep your head and upper body elevated when you sleep or rest. Elevating your upper body keeps your midsection in a slightly bent position, preventing strain on your incisions. Sleeping on propped-up pillows, a pillow wedge, or in a recliner are easy ways to keep your upper body elevated while you sleep. The length of time to sleep with your body elevated will depend on whether you have a mini tummy tuck or a full tummy tuck. After a full tummy tuck, you usually need to sleep with your head elevated for around 4 to 6 weeks. Most people with mini tummy tucks need to sleep elevated for 1 to 3 weeks.
How Long Do I Have To Sleep On My Back?
If sleeping on your back is not naturally comfortable, you will be eager to know when you can sleep in your usual position. Typically, you will need to sleep on your back anywhere from 3 to 6 weeks or longer. Your plastic surgeon will be the best guide on this subject. You should not resume sleeping on your stomach or side until your plastic surgeon says it’s OK. Sleeping on your stomach too soon can strain your incision and affect your tummy tuck results. Protecting your tummy tuck results with a few weeks of back-sleeping will be worth it, as you can see in some of our patients’ tummy tuck before and after photos.
Learn More About Tummy Tuck Recovery
If you have other questions about tummy tuck recovery, such as when you can stop wearing compression garments or return to your usual exercise routine, you can find a typical tummy tuck recovery timeline in our related blog post. Our team is also happy to answer all your questions during your consultation so you can confidently approach tummy tuck surgery and recovery. If you are ready to flatten your midsection and strengthen your abdominal muscles, request a consultation or call us at (502) 899-9979 to schedule an appointment.