How Long After A Tummy Tuck Can I Sleep on My Side (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 3 to 6 weeks at least

A tummy tuck is one of the most popular and desired plastic surgery availed by most people. Even though now due to advancement in technology and medicine, the recovery period and pain caused due to it are reduced, however depending upon the nature and extent of the operation it is best for the patient to sleep on their back or at a bent angle. It takes about 10 to 14 days on average for the bruising and swelling to improve if the procedure was an extensive one, however for smaller ones the recovery period is less. 

How Long After A Tummy Tuck can I sleep on my side?

People concerned with loose skin, stomach pouch, Hernia, Diastasis recti, or loose skin after pregnancy often undergo tummy tuck wherein surgery is performed under generalized anesthesia and a strategic incision is made on the lower abdomen line depending upon the extent of the procedure. The conclusion from the procedure is a contoured stomach as per the patient’s desires. Of course, the recovery after the procedure greatly depends upon the health conditions of the patient, rest, lifestyle, and diet. 

The best position to sleep just after the procedure is on one’s back with the upper body elevated at a certain angle with the help of pillows or a recliner. The time of recovery can only be properly predicted by the surgeon who is performing the procedure, so it is always advised to consult them before making even the smallest changes. If it is an extensive procedure, it is best to invest in a recliner before the procedure if you don’t have one, as the recliner will help you sleep on your back and discourage moments during the night. But for a smaller procedure, few extra pillows should be able to do the work. 

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The timeline of the recovery can be stated as:

TimeActivity
2 to 3 weeks Light work and similar activities
3 to 6 weeksSleeping on the side is allowed, in most cases
Upwards of 8 weeksExercise and lifting can be started only after consulting with the doctor. 

Why Not To Sleep On Your Side After A Tummy Tuck?

The patients are discouraged from sleep on their side as that might lead to further complications and pain if the incision is not properly healed. Also, the elevation of the upper body is important as it is less likely the patient will roll onto their side than if they are just laying flat on their back. However, sleep and quality sleep is equally important for the recovery of the patient after the procedure, if the person doesn’t get adequate sleep, that will only delay the recovery. So even though no one likes the downtime after the tuck, it is essential for their wellbeing and recovery. 

It is also advisable that the person practices sleeping on their back even before the surgery, that way they will have a practice of it once they are operated on. The major complications post-surgery can be due to fluid accumulation beneath the skin, poor wound healing, scarring, and even a feeling of numbness. Other than sleeping on the back it is important to maintain a stable weight, avoid certain medications like aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and anything which causes blood loss. After the procedure, the person might feel moderate pain which can be controlled via various pain medications.

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Conclusion 

So be it for a professional reason or a personal one, a tummy tuck is availed by a lot of people. It is important that if one wants a slimmer waist or a flat stomach that they should do as their doctor advises to have a healthy diet, ample rest, proper sleep, and medications after the operation. As for sleeping on the side, the time period varies from 3 to 6 weeks depending upon the person’s health, and other various factors as discussed earlier. In conclusion, as it is not a serious procedure, it is done by people from various walks of life, and as the complications are very less, recovery is high. 

Reference 

  1. https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s00266-012-9977-z.pdf
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=vRdtAAAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA76&dq=How+Long+After+A+Tummy+Tuck+can+I+sleep+on+my+side+(And+Why)%3F&ots=gfICAWEpui&sig=nNBldlenWgsIaTPvT5wMwd355SA
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