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How To Sleep After Tummy Tuck

Following any surgery, getting enough rest is important to promote healing. This is especially true after a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty). 

A tummy tuck is a major surgery that leaves your body vulnerable to infection. To help ensure a smooth and speedy recovery, here are some tips on how to sleep after a tummy tuck.

What Causes Discomfort When Sleeping After a Tummy Tuck?

In general, the most common cause of post-operative discomfort from a tummy tuck procedure is the incision. The incision will be tender and may feel tight or uncomfortable when you put pressure on it. Additionally, you may experience some numbness or tingling around the incision site.

Other causes of discomfort include:

Drain tubes: You will likely have drains underneath your skin to collect excess fluid. These can be uncomfortable and get in the way when trying to sleep.

Swelling: It is normal to experience some swelling after surgery. This can make it difficult to get comfortable and may cause mild pain. Read more about swelling after tummy tuck.

Muscle soreness: The muscles in your abdomen will be tightened during surgery. This can lead to soreness and discomfort, especially when sleeping on your stomach.

Pain medication: Your doctor will prescribe pain medication to help you manage discomfort. Some pain medications can cause drowsiness, making it difficult to fall asleep.

What Can You Do to Sleep Better After A Tummy Tuck?

Getting enough rest is crucial for a smooth and speedy recovery after a tummy tuck. Follow these recommendations and tips to sleep better after your tummy tuck:

1. Sleep on Your Back

Suppose you are considering a tummy tuck, one of the things you will need to do before the surgery is practice sleeping on your back. This may feel unnatural if you are used to sleeping on your side or stomach, but getting your body used to the new position is important. Sleeping on your back ensures that you do not put unnecessary pressure on your stomach area, which can lead to complications after surgery. It may take a few nights to get used to sleeping on your back, but it is worth it to ensure a successful recovery.

2. Make Use of Pillows

Using pillows to prop up your upper body is an easy way to sleep comfortably after a tummy tuck. When placing the pillows, position them in the right way so that you are not lying flat on your back. This can help to prevent complications such as nausea and vomiting. Sleeping on your side or stomach is generally not recommended until at least six weeks after surgery. With appropriate care and adequate rest, you will be able to enjoy your new, improved abdomen as soon as possible.

3. Use a Recliner

During the first few weeks following a tummy tuck, it is important to sleep in a slightly bent and elevated position. This helps to prevent any unnecessary strain on the stitches. While some people may use pillows to prop themselves up, others may find it more comfortable to sleep in a recliner.

A recliner provides a comfortable and safe way to keep the body in the ideal position while sleeping. In addition, it can be helpful for other activities such as reading or watching television. Although a recliner may be expensive, it is worth the cost for its many benefits.

4. Compression Garments

Compression garments are specialized clothing items that apply pressure to specific body areas. They are often used after surgery, such as a tummy tuck, to help the healing process. Compression garments help reduce swelling and provide support to the abdominal area after the tummy tuck surgery. Wearing compression garments may be uncomfortable and limit your mobility, but they are essential to the healing process. Your plastic surgeon will likely recommend wearing them for at least six weeks after surgery.

5. Pain Medication

As mentioned earlier, pain medication can help manage any discomfort you may experience after a tummy tuck. However, some pain medications can cause drowsiness and make it difficult to sleep. If you are having trouble sleeping due to pain medication, talk to your doctor about switching to a different type of medication. The first few nights can be the hardest in terms of pain and sleep. It is important to get up and walk around as much as possible – even if it hurts – to keep your blood flowing and help with the healing process. Taking a pain pill before bed will help you get the proper sleep and recovery you need.

6. Sleeping Routine

A good night’s sleep is important for anyone, but it is especially crucial if you are in recovery after abdominoplasty. Fatigue, bruising, swelling, and heightened emotions make it difficult to get the rest you need. That’s why having a consistent sleeping schedule is so important. A fixed routine can help train your mind and body to ease into sleep mode. Other things like warm showers in the evening, diffusing essential oils, setting your electronic screens aside, and avoiding sleep disruptors like caffeine can also help you sleep better.

7. Wear Loose Clothing

Wear loose and comfortable clothing to bed will help minimize any discomfort you may be feeling. Avoid wearing anything tight or constricting around your waist. This will help to prevent any irritation or discomfort.

8. Listen to Your Body

Tummy tuck surgery is a type of body contouring procedure that comes with quite a long period of recovery. It is important to listen to your body and not push yourself too hard during the healing time. Although you may feel better, taking things slow is important. 

Avoid strenuous activity and give your body the time it needs to heal. Pushing yourself too hard could result in complications such as bleeding or infection. With proper care and ample rest, you will be able to enjoy your new, improved midsection very soon.

How Long is Tummy Tuck Recovery?

Tummy tuck surgery is a fairly extensive procedure, and patients will need some time to recover. The details of the recovery process may vary depending on the individual, but most patients can expect to be able to return to work and light activities within 2-3 weeks. More strenuous physical activity, such as exercise and heavy lifting, may be off-limits for 6-8 weeks or longer. During the recovery, it is important to follow your surgeon’s instructions and take adequate time to rest and heal. Doing so will help ensure a successful outcome and minimize the risk of complications.

Explore Your Tummy Tuck Options in Cyprus, Greece and Malta

If you are struggling with a protruding abdomen and want to explore your tummy tuck options, contact Dr. Demetris Stravou today. 

Dr. Stravou is a board-certified plastic surgeon specializing in body contouring procedures. He will work with you to create a treatment plan that meets your individual needs and goals. 

To learn more about tummy tuck surgery or schedule a consultation, call us today.

Do you want to learn more information about tummy tuck surgery? Read now if you can still have a baby after a tummy tuck.


Dr Stavrou is a board-certified and highly experienced plastic surgeon in Cyprus, Greece and Malta, with a keen interest in informing patients about the latest updates on reconstructive and cosmetic plastic surgery.

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