Sleep is a crucial part of the recovery process with any cosmetic surgery. It’s important to consider the entire sleep process, including getting in and out of bed so you can move and sleep in the best way possible. Sudden movements and incorrect sleeping positions could hinder your results, be uncomfortable, or put unnecessary pressure on incisions. Keep reading to find out how to sleep comfortably after a tummy tuck.
What is a Tummy Tuck?
A tummy tuck is a cosmetic procedure to flatten the tummy by removing excess skin and fat and tightening the abdominal muscles and wall. A tummy tuck can also help remove stretch marks in the lower abdomen. It is among the most popular cosmetic procedures in the UK following a pregnancy or significant weight loss.
The surgery is performed under general anaesthesia. Your surgeon will walk you through different tummy tuck procedures during the consultation. They include:
- Full tummy tuck
- Mini tummy tuck
- Skin tightening procedure
Why Your Sleeping Position is Important After Cosmetic Surgery
You will likely have to adopt a different sleeping position with most cosmetic procedures. This isn’t usually permanent but is essential while your wounds heal and swelling subsides. The reason that sleeping position is crucial is that it:
- Protects healing incision sites
- Avoids putting pressure on the surgery area
- Minimises swelling
How to Sleep Comfortably After a Tummy Tuck
After your tummy tuck, the way you sleep will have a significant impact on your results as well as the quality of your recovery time. Sleeping in the wrong position could impact your recovery and put too much pressure on the surgery site.
Sleep With a Slight Bend
The main message for sleeping after a tummy tuck is to avoid lying straight. A tummy tuck surgery involves the plastic surgeon making a long incision between the hip bones, just above your pubic mound. The surgeon will cut and remove excess fat from your tummy before pulling down the skin over the incision line. Excess skin is also removed and the abdomen stitched, leaving a tight and flat finish. So, laying flat on your back after the procedure might not be the best idea as this can stretch out your abdomen, putting a strain on the stitched skin resulting in pain or damaged sutures.
Instead of sleeping flat, you should sleep in a slightly bent position. You could achieve this by sleeping in a recliner chair. Even when moving from lying down to standing, keep in mind this slight bend that your body should have. You want to avoid going into a straight position and be mindful of your body shape.
Practice Your New Sleep Position
What’s the best tummy tuck sleep position? If you’re a side or front sleeper, suddenly sleeping on your back can feel unnatural, making it more challenging to get to sleep. A few weeks before your surgery, start sleeping on your back so you can get used to the new position. That way, getting some rest after the operation might be easier.
Wear Your Compression Garment
Your surgeon will advise that you wear your compression garment even when you sleep. It may feel a little odd initially, but it’s essential to achieving the best results from your surgery. A compression garment is a supportive piece of clothing you wear after cosmetic surgery to aid healing and minimise swelling. Where you can, it’s crucial that you follow your surgeon’s advice, including wearing your compression garment as much as possible.
What Are Your Sleeping Options After A Tummy Tuck?
You’ve got two options after a tummy tuck procedure. The first is to modify the bed with pillows so that you have a raised-up section and maintain a bent posture when sleeping. This comes at an advantage since all you require is to add a few extra pillows. But there is also a downside; since you are sleeping on a bed, there is a chance that you might unconsciously toss and turn in your sleep. The pillows may also slip out from underneath, putting your stitching at risk.
The best option is to shift from the bed to a recliner until your incisions heal. A recliner will hold your body in a bent position and discourage tossing or turning during sleep. Some recliners can even be set to raise both the head and the feet to maintain a comfortable V-shape throughout the night.
How Long Does it Take to Recover from a Tummy Tuck?
After any major cosmetic procedure, the biggest challenge is how to sleep and how long you need to be careful about sleeping. So, it helps to know how long the recovery period is and when you can go back to sleeping like normal.
Recovering from a tummy tuck depends on your healing process, additional procedures performed and activity level. Most patients return to work and other light activities after 2 to 3 weeks following the procedure. Heavy lifting, exercise, and other strenuous activities are discouraged for 6 to 8 weeks or even longer after the surgery.
Throughout your tummy tuck recovery, your doctor will closely monitor your healing and advise when it’s safe to resume your regular routine. One thing to remember is that a tummy tuck is an extensive procedure that requires patience and commitment during recovery. During the first week, you may experience swelling, bruising and discomfort, but these should alleviate after 10 to 14 days.
Undergoing a tummy tuck is major surgery and will impact how you sleep for a while. But it would be best if you found a sleeping position that is both comfortable and doesn’t impact your results, so you can promote healing without applying pressure to the surgical site or incisions.
Considering A Tummy Tuck? Get In Touch With A Professional
Are you considering ridding yourself of stubborn fat and excess skin and restoring a slimmer and firmer figure? You can achieve your aesthetic goals through tummy tuck surgery at the Harley Street Clinic, London.
To learn more about the procedure and whether you are a good candidate, book your free consultation today with Dr. Riaz Agha.