When you have undergone a significant surgery such as the tummy tuck surgery, it is important to focus on your recovery. Getting restful sleep can help your body to heal, and sleeping position is an often overlooked factor in quality sleep following a tummy tuck procedure.
At South Bay Aesthetics Plastic Surgery in Torrance, CA, we want to help you maximize the results of your surgery by supporting you through the recovery process. We can help guide you to appropriate sleeping positions both immediately following your procedure and in the weeks after your surgery.
What Is a Tummy Tuck? Understanding Your Surgery
A tummy tuck, which is medically known as an abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure that is performed in order to remove excess fat and skin from the abdominal area while restoring weakened or separated muscles. This procedure can create an abdominal profile that is much smoother and firmer than it was before. It is a common request for individuals who are seeking to improve their body contour following significant weight loss, pregnancy, or aging.
There are different types of tummy tuck surgery, including a full abdominoplasty and a mini abdominoplasty. The surgery that is right for you will depend on the extent of your loose skin, excess fat, and ab separation.
Recovering from both a full and a mini abdominoplasty requires care and forethought. By considering your sleeping arrangements beforehand, you can help your body to repair and regenerate tissues, maintain a healthy immune system, and restore your energy so that you can move forward with your recovery.
Tips for Improving Sleep After Surgery
Following your abdominoplasty surgery, it is normal to find it challenging at first to fall asleep. It often requires a change in position from what you are used to. In order to set yourself up for success during the first nights after surgery, we recommend a few general tips to improve sleep quality:
- Maintain a Regular Sleep Schedule: You should try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day to help regulate your body’s internal clock. You can begin giving your body this consistency several weeks ahead of time to help your body settle more quickly into the post-surgery routine.
- Create a Calming Bedtime Routine: Simple, calming routines such as listening to music or reading can help signal your body that it’s time to sleep.
- Diet and Exercise: A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and proteins is not only helpful for promoting sleep after surgery, but it can also aid with your overall recovery and reduce postoperative fatigue.
Ideal Sleeping Positions for Tummy Tuck Recovery
Back Sleeping With Elevated Upper Body
Immediately after your tummy tuck surgery, it is best to sleep on your back with your upper body slightly elevated. You can use pillows or a specially designed wedge to help keep you in position. This sleeping position helps to reduce swelling and discomfort by taking pressure off the abdominal area, which can aid in healing.
Another good position for immediately after your abdominoplasty surgery is Semi-Fowler’s Position. In this position, you will be seated in a slightly reclined posture, typically at around a 45-degree angle. Your legs will be slightly bent allowing for greater comfort. This position can be achieved using an adjustable bed or even a suitable recliner, and pillows can be used to support the back and the legs. This position reduces tension on the incision site, minimizes fluid accumulation, and improves blood circulation.
Side Sleeping With Supportive Pillows
While side sleeping is typically not recommended in the early stages of your tummy tuck recovery, it may be suitable as your healing progresses. You should always consult with your surgeon for the “okay” to begin side sleeping again. Once your surgeon says it’s safe, you can sleep on your side with a few modifications. Use a body pillow or several smaller pillows to support your abdomen and back, alleviating pressure on the surgical site.
Things to Avoid in Your Sleeping Position
While the above positions can help to facilitate healing after a tummy tuck procedure, others can slow down your recovery. As you heal from surgery, avoid sleeping on your stomach or lying completely flat on your back. These positions can cause an increase in swelling or additional pressure on the abdominal area. You should also avoid twisting or bending movements while resting in bed. Instead, move cautiously, keeping your body aligned and using your arms for support.
Additional Tips for Comfort During Sleeping
When you are going to sleep after your abdominoplasty surgery, consider wearing loose and comfortable clothing and use smooth, soft bedding to help minimize any irritation at the incision site. You should also talk to your doctor if you have any pain, discomfort, or swelling that is interfering with your sleep. At our surgical center, we are always here to help you with your tummy tuck recovery.
Make the Most of Your Tummy Tuck Surgery
While having your surgery performed by a reputable board-certified surgeon is one major step towards a successful tummy tuck recovery, a lot also depends on following your doctor’s recommendations for post-treatment care. At South Bay Aesthetics Plastic Surgery in Torrance, CA, we make sure you have all the tools you need to take care of your body and the surgical site once your tummy tuck has been performed. To schedule a tummy tuck consultation or to find out more about this procedure, you can call us today at (310) 539-6500 or book an appointment online.