Tummy tuck surgery is a big decision for many. Besides the preparation for the surgery itself, aftercare and the recovery process(1) are also important. The days following the surgery won’t be the most comfortable. There are the stitches that you need to be careful of, you have to avoid strenuous physical activities, and you need to be highly aware of your sleeping position.
It’s only natural to want to return to full health immediately after the surgery, but keep in mind that each person heals differently. It’s important to give yourself time to recover.
Your Sleeping Position Matters
As with any surgery, your sleeping position matters significantly. In a tummy tuck surgery, excess skin and fats around the abdominal area are removed, and the skin is tightly pulled. It’s important to be mindful of your body position when sleeping to ensure minimal scarring. You also want to avoid putting pressure on the abdominal area to prevent the stitches from opening.
Lying on your side when sleeping is not advisable, as the side making contact with the bed might swell. Of course, you must refrain from lying on your stomach since you want to avoid damaging the abdominal area.
The Best Sleeping Positions
Are you ready to find out which sleeping position is best for you? We’re providing a few examples here, but it would be best if you find out how you’re most comfortable sleeping tonight.
1. Reclined Position
Using a recliner(2), keep a bend at the waist at around 45 degrees. This will keep the abdominals bent in a position that will ensure minimal tension to the stitches while your skin heals itself over the course of a few days. It also allows you to use your hands when getting up, to further lessen the strain on your stomach area.
2. Pillows under the Knee
Much like the first position, you lie on your back but put several pillows underneath your knees and under your head. Remember to keep a bend at the waist at around 30 to 45 degrees. This takes the pressure off of the incisions and prevents them from opening.
3. Using a special pillow
You can choose to purchase contoured pillows specifically designed for post-tummy tuck surgery comfort. Their contour prevents any pressure or tension from getting to your abdominal area, keeping it safe and secure.
4. Sleep on your Back
You’ve probably noticed that a common theme among the best sleeping positions is to sleep on your back. If you’re used to sleeping on your side or your stomach, sleeping on your back can feel unnatural or awkward. That said, it would be best to start as soon as possible. If you haven’t gone through your procedure yet, now would be the best time to start. This will prepare your body for optimum rest during the recovery period.
What you can do
Ultimately, it is best to talk to your surgeon about the ideal sleeping position for your body. Having performed the surgery, your plastic surgeon has a unique understanding of your physique that will enable them to recommend the best instructions for post-surgical care. Everyone has their own needs, and what applies to others may not be best for you.
So while your body is recovering, take a moment to listen to your surgeon, and give your body the rest it needs. Under the proper care and guidance, you can experience lasting and satisfying results from tummy tuck surgery.
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