Are you about to undergo an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck surgery) or have you just undergone this procedure? If so, this article is for you. We’ll be discussing the importance of sleep post-surgery, including exactly how to sleep after a tummy tuck.
Before we dive in, however, let’s take a brief look at the overall importance of sleep for your health and wellbeing.
The Importance of Quality Sleep
Even when you haven’t just had surgery, good sleep is essential to your overall health. Experts recommend that everyone gets at least seven to eight hours of sleep every night — or more!
In addition, your sleep should be “quality sleep”. This means you should be able to fall asleep relatively fast and stay asleep for the entire night without constantly tossing and turning.
Getting enough quality sleep every night will help you maintain a healthy body weight, reduce stress, improve your daily mood, think more clearly, and get sick less often. Many people dismiss these benefits because they can be difficult to discern in daily life. Still, study after study reveals them to be true.
How to Sleep After Tummy Tuck Surgery
As with any postoperative recommendations, you should always go with the instructions provided directly to you by your surgeon. The following is general information meant for most situations — but not all.
Generally speaking, after most types of tummy tuck surgery (including mini tummy tuck surgery), you should sleep on your back, in a slightly bent position, with your upper body elevated. To alleviate stress on your lower back, we recommend raising and bending your knees slightly. You can put extra pillows or rolled up towels behind your knees for support.
Actually, when you bend slightly at the waist, this alleviates stress on your lower back and your surgical area (the abdomen). You’ll also need to be bent at the waist simply because you will not be able to stand up straight (or lay straight) directly after tummy tuck surgery. Most patients won’t be able to stand up straight for two to three weeks after their operation.
Can You Sleep on Your Side After a Tummy Tuck Procedure?
Some surgeons may allow their patients to sleep on their sides after surgery as long as their knees are slightly bent and they have flexion in their hips. At the same time, this position is not generally recommended. Side sleeping can cause one side of your tummy tuck to heal differently than the other, and that’s definitely not what we want during the tummy tuck recovery process.
Moreover, it’s possible that you may end up putting too much pressure on your incision sites on your side. For these reasons, it’s best to sleep on your back during recovery from tummy tuck surgery.
When Can I Sleep on My Stomach During Tummy Tuck Recovery?
There are many “stomach sleepers” out there, so patients often want to know when they can sleep on their stomachs after abdominoplasty. Unfortunately, this position is off limits right after your surgery — just like heavy lifting and other strenuous physical activities.
As far as your tummy tuck recovery timeline and sleeping on your stomach goes, most patients are able to stop sleeping on their backs and with their upper body elevated after approximately three weeks or more. This is usually when you can return to work and light activities as well. Of course, always check with your board certified plastic surgeon as this will vary from patient to patient.
Once you can basically stand up straight and it’s been a few weeks of healthy recovery, this is when most plastic surgeons will allow their patients to sleep on their stomachs or however their body tells them they’ll be most comfortable for an efficient tummy tuck recovery and healing process.
How to Sleep After BBL and Tummy Tuck Surgery
When it comes to proper healing and sleep after abdominoplasty, another common question is how to sleep after tummy tuck and BBL surgery (in some cases, these surgeries may be combined into one extensive procedure). With the addition of a BBL (Brazilian butt lift), how you sleep will need to change.
Sleep after a BBL and tummy tuck really depends on the patient and the specific surgery they underwent. In general, sleeping on your back is not an option as it would be if you only had tummy tuck surgery. This is because a Brazilian butt lift requires that you do not put pressure on your buttocks during the healing process.
Obviously, this presents some challenges because you also want to make sure you can be at a slightly bent sleeping position at the waist for your tummy tuck recovery. The answer that most plastic surgeons come up with is side sleeping. You can sleep on your side and slightly bend your knees and waist at the same time.
As we stated above, however, side sleeping is not exactly optimal for tummy tuck recovery because it can create an uneven recovery and put undue pressure on incision sites. Still, it is probably the best sleeping position when you’ve had both a Brazilian butt lift and a tummy tuck in the same operation.
Something that you can do to even out the pressure and healing is to try to sleep on both your left side and your right side in equal amounts. For example, you might start out sleeping on your left side at the beginning of the night, then halfway through the night switch to your right side.
Book Your Consultation Today
Thinking about a tummy tuck but not sure if you’re a good candidate? Tummy tuck surgery is an amazingly transformative body contouring procedure that can get rid of excess skin and stubborn fat while tightening the abdominal muscles.
Contact our office today to schedule a consultation with board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Ashley Steinberg. At your consultation, you can sit down with Dr. Steinberg and discuss your medical history, aesthetic and comfort concerns, cost and more.
Call today to book your appointment!