A tummy tuck is a surgery that removes excess skin, fat, and muscle from the abdomen to improve the appearance and function of the stomach. It has been used for decades to help patients achieve their desired shape. A tummy tuck can be done on people of any age, although it is more common for women in their 40s and 50s to undergo this procedure than men or younger women.
After a tummy tuck, patients may experience pain, swelling and bruising in the abdominal area. To help relieve these symptoms and speed up recovery time, doctors recommend using pillows that support different parts of the body. The following are some types of pillows that may be helpful following a tummy tuck:
-Pillow for lower back pain -A pillow that supports your lower back will help reduce pain from sitting up too long at night or getting up from bed too quickly after surgery. This type of pillow should be placed under your knees when lying down so they do not bend uncomfortably while sleeping on your side or back. It should also be placed between your knees while sitting upright during recovery time so they don’t bend uncomfortably either because this could cause pressure points or unnecessary strain on other parts of your body like
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Best pillow after tummy tuck
There’s a growing industry in post-surgery pillows, or specially made cushions that are all about facilitating recovery while you lounge, sit, or sleep. They’re not necessary — many patients have perfectly fine results propping themselves up with their own pillows, sleeping in recliners (for the surgeries that require torso elevation), or just being mindful of their sleeping position. But some swear by them, finding them the answer to easing the worries about putting pressure on the wrong spot and setting the healing process back. It’s all about comfort, preference, how active a sleeper you are, and your own nerves about staying in the best position — especially if the recommended posture isn’t your preferred position.
If you have a procedure coming up and are interested in purchasing a pillow, our first piece of advice is to talk to your doctor: He or she will have unique insight into your surgery, how you’re healing along the way, and what’s best for you. If you get the go ahead to look for a special pillow, finding the right one can feel a bit daunting. A quick Google search will tell you that there’s a lot of out there to choose from, spanning everything from butt-saving BBL pillows and wedge pillows to elaborate systems meant to keep you in place from head to toe.
Oh, and a couple notes from Andrew P. Ordon, MD, clinical professor of plastic surgery at the USC School of Medicine and co-host of The Doctors:
- Always look for the word ‘hypoallergenic’ on the pillow or cushion.
- When it comes to sheets to wrap them in, opt for smooth, non-abrasive cotton linens. “Even better if broken in and soft,” he says.
With all of this in mind, onward to narrowing down your options.
FOR FACE & UPPER TORSO WORK
After facial and upper body (think: breast enlargement) procedures, it’s all about elevating the head to reduce swelling and promote drainage while keeping you on your back. “It’s always important to make sure there is no undue pressure on areas that just had an operation,” says David Shafer, MD, a double board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon in New York City. Here, if you’re not using a stack of regular ol’ pillows or a husband-style pillow you might have around for reading, you have three basic options:
- Wedge Pillows: Lift your torso up into a semi-fowler position (meaning your back is at a 45 degree angle) a la the Sleep Number Adjustable Wedge Pillow.
- Head-Cradling Cushions: This style keeps your face from moving side to side like the Deluxe CosMed Pillow With Satin Pillowcase or even U-shaped pillows like the Modern Sleep U-Shape Memory Foam Travel Pillow.
- Contoured Side-Sleeping Pillow: For folks who really can’t handle more than a night or two on their backs, Dr. Shafer recommends Sleep & Glow’s Omnia Pillow, which has cut-outs on either side for your face to reduce pressure.
Beyond that, many doctors recommend tucking a pillow under your knees or lower legs to take the pressure off your lower back and facilitate blood flow. In fact, this is a good practice for all post-op patients. “I tell them to keep your ankles at knee level when in bed with a soft pillow under the knees to prevent venous blood from pooling in the lower legs, which can set you up for a blood clot,” says Suzanne Trott, MD, a Beverly Hills-based board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon. For those on the lookout for a dedicated pillow for the task, try Ebung Leg Elevation Pillow.
This all goes for work on the breasts, as well. Dr. Shafer notes that some like to use a specific between-boob strap-on cushion called the Pillow Bra by Sleep and Glow to keep the breasts in place during sleep. Not only can it keep you more comfortable but “it’s good for preventing wrinkles in the decolletage,” he says.
FOR BOOTY & VAGINAL WORK
It’s during the day when pillows really matter for work on the rear end or “down there.” Some find a regular memory foam pillow helps take the pressure off when you sit, but Dr. Trott says there are special “donut” or “w” shaped pillows made of memory foam meant to keep weight off the buttocks when you sit. If there’s one area where doctors often recommend a special buy, this is, as BBL-type procedures come with upwards of a month of downtime. Try: Royal Comfort BBL Booty Pillow.
At night, you’ll want to sleep on your stomach. That means you’ll likely need to create bumpers to keep you face down. Lots of regular pillows can work, but a regular ol’ body pillow can be a godsend here.
FOR A TUMMY TUCK
The concern after a tummy tuck is making sure not to stretch the incision site overnight. That’s why Dr. Ordon insists that abdominoplasty patients maintain “a flexed, jackknife position.” Sure, you can do this with your own pillows and bolsters under your upper body and legs. But, if you need help, an all-over body system, like the Contour BackMax Foam Bed Wedge Pillow Support System, can be just what the doctor ordered. By elevating both the back and feet, they mimic the shape of a hospital bed on top of your mattress.
Sleeping on your back allows for even weight distribution, which is why it’s often recommended after lipo. Creating bumpers around yourself with regular pillows or trying any of the flip-preventing pillow options mentioned above can be a help. If you had your arms or legs done, reserve a few. In such cases, it’s important to keep limbs elevated to keep blood flowing and keep swelling at a minimum, Dr. Ordon says.
Best pillow after abdominal surgery
Surgery for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is difficult on the body as well as on quality of life. Making good preparations can lessen the impact and improve the recovery time from surgery. There’s much that can be done to prepare yourself, your home, your finances, and your employer for the time you’ll need to take to recover. When everything is in place before having surgery, time can be best spent focusing on recovery.
Contact Your Insurance Carrier
Some insurance companies require that they be informed before a hospitalization. This is extremely important, as they may deny benefits if there’s not a call made to them prior to the surgery. When in doubt, make a quick call to the number on the back of the insurance card to find out for sure.2
Work With Your Employer
Let an employer know as soon as a surgery date is scheduled. Some people may be eligible for short-term disability if there’s a need for an extended recovery period. Remember that a note from the healthcare provider is needed to explain the need for surgery (no one needs to know why—it’s none of their business) and how long of an absence is likely. To get back to work, another note will be needed, and this one will detail when, where, and how a return to work can take place (for instance, returning back at fewer hours to start, or with certain accommodations). Don’t forget to ask for these, and remember to keep a copy.3
Prepare For Your Return Before You Leave For The Hospital
A house needs to be ready for the return before even leaving for surgery. Some of the things to consider might be:
- Stocking the freezer, refrigerator, and pantry with soft, low-residue foods
- Having comfortable clothing, such as robes, pants with elastic waists, and t-shirts, to wear home from the hospital and during recovery
- Finishing all the laundry and heavy cleaning and have the house in good order
- Arranging furniture and other items so that trips up and down stairs will be minimized
- Paying all bills up-to-date, or even setting up automatic payments
Get Out Of Bed
Yes, it’s likely to be uncomfortable, but don’t fight the nurses when they say it’s time to get out of bed and walk in the days following surgery. People who get out of bed and move around will recover faster,1 and get released sooner. Additionally, this will help get the bowels moving again, and once that happens, it may be possible to graduate from a liquid diet to some solid food.5
Indulge In Your Hobby
You will be tired, sore, and have a short attention span due to painkillers. Plan to spend time in the house reading, knitting, watching movies or TV, doing crossword puzzles or word games, putting together jigsaw puzzles, or doing some other quiet hobby. If you get bored easily at home, finding some hobbies that you can relax with is very important. Your mental health during recovery is critical, and being bored or feeling “cooped-up” won’t help.6
Don’t Lift Anything Heavy…
Your muscles need time to heal. Do not lift things heavier than recommended by your healthcare provider2 (typically this is about 5 lbs), including, but not limited to, children, cats, dogs, grocery bags, and laundry baskets. Your continued health and complete recovery is too important to risk by going against healthcare provider’s orders. Vacuuming is difficult on the abdominal muscles, so don’t do it until the surgeon says you’re ready.7
…But Get Some Light Exercise
Your recovery will go in stages. At first, walking will be tough enough. Don’t wear yourself out, but walk as much as you are able. When the surgeon releases you to do more, start back into your exercise program slowly. It will be some months before you will be back to your regular activities.28
Ask Before You Get Intimate
Don’t be afraid to discuss with your surgeon about when you will be well enough to have sex—it’s a very important question. This is a personal decision that also needs to be discussed with your partner, and it will depend on your comfort level. 2You will know when you are ready.9
Have Extra Pillows On Hand
A pillow between the knees, and another held against the stomach helps with discomfort during sleeping after surgery. A body pillow is also a good choice to lean against while in bed. Additionally, put one or two pillows on any chair you are sitting in for extra comfort.10
Ask For Help
Having someone around to prepare meals and keep up with household chores will be helpful for your physical recovery, and give you peace of mind. If you don’t have a friend or relative available, check with the hospital about volunteers. They may have a staff of volunteers (or be able to direct you to a volunteer group) who can deliver your medications and groceries, or just come by for a short visit.