Your Guide to Sleeping After a Tummy Tuck

posted on:
June 28th, 2022
posted by:
Dr. Mulholland

A tummy tuck is a surgical procedure that allows a person to have a firmer, leaner, and more defined stomach that tightens and removes any loose and excess skin from the abdomen.

Tummy tucks are especially popular among those who have had children or recently lost weight, resulting in the skin becoming stretched, restoring them to a more tightened position.

While the tummy tuck process results are overwhelmingly effective and provide long-lasting results, it is important to know that the procedure requires a proper healing and recovery period, involving ample amounts of bed rest.

Sleep is critically important during your recovery but can be a little easier said than done, so many patients ask us how to sleep after a tummy tuck. While it does require some adjustment, sleeping after a tummy tuck is possible, and these adjustments are often temporary. Here is what you need to know about sleeping after a tummy tuck procedure.

Why is sleep after tummy tuck so important?

Ensuring you have ample sleep after tummy tuck is vitally important to your recovery process for many reasons.

After any type of surgical procedure, your body goes into overdrive, trying to heal your incisions, ward off infections, and filter out any left-over anesthesia from the procedure. It is very easy for the body to become worn down and spread thin with all these extra tasks.

When you are sleeping after a tummy tuck, however, your body and brain don’t need to work quite so much to run all the extra functions it does. At the same time, you are awake, allowing them to more easily focus their attention on your surgical area and supply ample blood flow to your tissues and muscles.

Also, your body produces more white blood cells while you sleep, which improves your chances of fighting off infections, viruses, and bacteria that can slow down or impair healing.

Best Positioning for sleep after tummy tuck

A tummy tuck is performed by making a long incision along with the hip bones, just above the pubic area. Any scarring following the procedure can be easily hidden by underwear or bikini bathing suits by placing the incisions here. After the skin and excess fat are removed from the stomach, the skin is pulled tight. Depending on the intensity of your tummy tuck, there may also be vertical scarring.

Due to the nature of the incisions, it is not recommended you lay flat in either direction following your procedure when you sleep after a tummy tuck. When you lay on your back, the skin on your abdomen stretches out, which can cause strain on any stitched skin and open incisions. The further an incision is pulled apart while healing, the longer it may take to completely close, and increases its likelihood of infection.

Meanwhile, lying face down for an extended period when you sleep after a tummy tuck can cause blood to pool in the surgical area, increasing the chances of swelling and bruising. It will also likely be fairly painful to sleep after tummy tuck in this position as well.

The ideal way to sleep after a tummy tuck is at an incline, in a way that does not stretch out the skin of the stomach or cause pooling and pressure on the stomach.

Sleeping after a tummy tuck Comfortably

You’re probably thinking, “when can I sleep flat after a tummy tuck?” For your comfort, the best way to sleep while inclined with your waist bent with your knees slightly raised up from the mattress, allowing for the least amount of strain on your abdomen and surgical recovery area.

You can use pillows or rolled-up blankets and towels to help create this position, using two or more under your head and torso to prop up your top half while using an additional prop to help keep your legs at an elevated position.

It is also recommended you use further blankets or pillows to help prevent you from rolling to the sides and putting pressure on one side.

If you’re combining tummy tucks with other procedures, you may wonder how to sleep after a BBL and tummy tuck. In this case, it is recommended you sleep on your side but propped very specifically to avoid as much pressure to both the buttocks area as well as the stomach area.

Prepare Ahead of Time

One of the best steps for how to sleep after tummy tuck is to plan ahead. It can be difficult to adjust to a new sleeping position, particularly if you are not accustomed to sleeping at an elevation.

Thus, it is recommended you adjust your sleeping conditions at least a few days to a week or more in advance, so your body and mind can “normalize” to the change. Additionally, sleeping at an altered position or incline can sometimes have you feeling slightly stiff for the first day or two.

By preparing your sleep pattern before your procedure, going to bed on those first crucial days will be easier and allow you to get an easier night’s rest for sleeping after a tummy tuck.

Sleep Alone

Another tip for how to sleep after tummy tuck is if you share a bed with a partner or pets, it’s a good idea to sleep solo for at least the first few days to a week of recovery. Your abdominal area will be very sensitive and delicate following your procedure, and an accidental bump, kick, step, or tail to your recovery zone will both be counterintuitive to your healing and also likely be incredibly painful.

Tummy Tucks at TPS

At our clinic, we perform a variety of options for a tummy tuck, ranging from the less invasive mini tummy tuck to a more in-depth full tummy tuck.

A mini tummy tuck is often considered to be for those who only desire the lowest part of their abdominal area, below the belly button, to be corrected. The scarring of this procedure is the most minimal, with a thin line bridging across the hip bones. This method usually doesn’t tighten up many underlying muscles and is more geared towards those looking to treat minor loose and sagging skin or receiving a tummy tuck after pregnancy.

Meanwhile, a full tummy tuck removes tissues and excess skin from the abdominal area while tightening up the underlying abdominal muscles for a more tone appearance. Like the mini tummy tuck, an incision is made along the bikini area but can also be made around the belly button as well.

A tummy tuck is sometimes confused for a liposuction procedure. These procedures are both body contouring procedures but are performed with different techniques and achieve different goals from one another. The difference between liposuction and tummy tucks is that liposuction helps to remove the underlying stubborn fat cells beneath the skin, whereas tummy tucks pull the overlaying skin tight. These procedures can be performed together and are often part of a mommy makeover in Toronto to help restore a woman’s body to a state before having children.

Recovery Time

A tummy tuck recovery period can range depending on the type and intensity of the procedure. If you’re wondering, “when can I sleep on my side after a tummy tuck,” In general, a mini tummy tuck will recover in one to three weeks, while a full tummy tuck may take four to six weeks.

Booking a Tummy Tuck with Toronto Plastic Surgeons

If you’re looking to undergo a tummy tuck, liposuction, or any other procedure, we can help. Our dedicated team of Toronto plastic surgery experts can help you with your cosmetic surgery needs, whatever they may be.

If you’re interested in booking your first consultation or learning more about the cost of tummy tuck in Toronto, you can book with us online or call at 647-723-3739 to speak with a member of our team.

Posted by:

Dr. Stephen Mulholland, Md

Dr. Stephen Mulholland has been practicing plastic surgery for over 20 years. He is one of Canada’s most renowned and best plastic surgeons in Toronto with his wealth of experience, artistry, and humbleness towards his patients.

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