Tummy tucks can transform your abdomen. By removing excess skin and tissue while tightening the abdominal muscles, this safe and efficient procedure slims, trims, and firms up your stomach area for an attractive and harmonious body contour. While results are stunning, many patients don’t fully understand what the recovery process looks like.

Recovery looks a little bit different for every patient, as Dr. Alderman creates a unique treatment plan custom-built to complement your anatomy. In most cases, a significant amount of tissue will be removed during surgery. Your body will look and feel very different, especially during the initial post-op period. Second-nature activities like eating, sleeping, and sitting will require a new level of focus, slowness, and care to ensure a safe and speedy healing process.

We’ll provide you with all the necessary information to support your recovery. One of the most common questions Dr. Alderman gets is how long patients need to sleep elevated after a tummy tuck. Below we’ve broken down how to sleep comfortably and safely post-op. If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Elevated Sleeping

During the first few days and weeks after surgery, how you sleep is more important than ever. Proper sleep will increase your recovery rate and give your body the time it needs to do deep repairs after skin and tissue removal. Your body becomes a secondary surgeon, completing the work Dr. Alderman’s started refining your new tighter tummy.

It’s critical to maintain an elevated and slightly bent sleep position. This both provides increased comfort and helps to ensure beautiful results. Lying down flat too early can increase your risk of both aesthetic and medical complications.

As for how to maintain a proper sleep position, patients have two recommended options. First, give your bed a makeover by carefully placing pillows to create a raised area for your torso and head. This will allow you to maintain a slight bend throughout the night. Many patients go with this option because it’s simple, easy, and affordable. All you need is a bit of creativity and some extra pillows.

That said, sleeping raised on pillows in your bed does come with some risks. There’s a higher chance you’ll shift in your sleep to a compromised position with room to move around. Your pillows may also fall out from under you or slip during the night, putting your incisions at risk.

Option two is to go to bed in a recliner. Recliners are an ideal post-op sleep environment and help you quickly achieve ideal elevation. Plush armrests function as barriers that minimize the likelihood you’ll turn over while asleep, as well. Some recliner models raise both the heads and feet, which can create a cozy V-shape for post-tummy tuck sleeping. However, many patients don’t have an interest in or space for a large recliner in their homes.

Laying Down Flat

As mentioned above, every patient’s tummy tuck recovery is unique. How long recovery takes depends on your goals, the surgical technique used, your age, and several other factors. When you can sleep flat again is no different.

During your follow-up appointments, Dr. Alderman will work with you to determine when it’s safe to start sleeping normally. If you have a “mini tummy tuck” with a smaller incision, you’ll likely need between one and three weeks of elevated sleeping. On the other hand, full-tummy tuck patients require about four weeks, with six weeks of limiting any strenuous exercise or lifting.

If you want more personalized advice on the recovery process or when to sleep flat, please give us a call. Dr. Alderman will offer you her expert advice based on your medical history, anatomy, and surgical plan.

Preparing for Sleep Post Tummy Tuck

A lot of our patients come in concerned because they usually sleep on their front or side. If you’re worried about transitioning to sleeping on your back, practice really does make perfect. For at least a few weeks before surgery, start teaching your body to sleep on its back. Changing how you sleep takes time, and by starting ahead of surgery, you’ll ensure a gradual and realistic transition. By the time you begin sleeping elevated, you’ll be a pro.

The more you’re able to get comfortable and deep sleep, the faster your body will recover. If you’d like to learn more about the tummy tuck recovery process or have any further questions, please give our North Atlanta, GA, office a call at (470) 381-3610. You can also schedule a consultation online by contacting us online.

We look forward to getting in touch.