Cosmetic Surgery Tips

How Long After A Tummy Tuck Can I Sleep On My Stomach

It’s important to know that you should avoid sleeping on your stomach for at least 3 months after a tummy tuck. There are many reasons for this, but the primary reason has to do with the fact that if you sleep on your stomach, the pressure of your weight against the incisions can cause them to separate and even open up.

If this were to happen, it could lead to infection and other complications. It is also important not to lie down on any part of your body while it is still healing in order to prevent this from happening. You should also avoid heavy lifting or any other strenuous activities for at least 6 weeks after surgery.

Read on to learn more about How Long After A Tummy Tuck Can I Sleep On My Stomach, Why Can I Not Sleep on My Stomach After Tummy Tuck Surgery and When Can I Sleep on My Stomach Following My Surgery? 

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How Long After A Tummy Tuck Can I Sleep On My Stomach

Oftentimes, as you progress through life, the skin around your abdomen can become loose and flabby. This can be the result of many things, like weight gain and loss, pregnancy, and other factors. However, with a tummy tuck, men and women can achieve flatter stomachs and more defined abdomens. Dr. Alex Mesbahi, a board-certified plastic surgeon, often performs tummy tucks, or abdominoplasty that conforms with specific needs and desires of his patients. Our office services the areas of McLean, VA and Washington, D.C. Schedule a consultation at Mesbahi Plastic Surgery in McLean, VA to learn more about how a tummy tuck can help tighten your abdomen.

What is a tummy tuck, and how do they work?

A tummy tuck is a procedure that removes excess skin and fat while tightening the muscles from your stomach to achieve a more toned and defined appearance. Different procedure methods can be used when undergoing this treatment plan, depending on your exact goals and desires are. No matter the method used, Dr. Mesbahi focuses on removing excess skin and fat. He can also help you learn which procedure is best for your body and needs.

  • Full tummy tuck: Addresses issues in your lower and upper stomach
  • Extended tummy tuck: Addresses issues in your stomach, hips, and thighs
  • Mini tummy tuck: Addresses issues below your belly button

A tummy tuck is ideal for men and women of a healthy weight who are trying to tone and tighten their stomach area. You can also add procedures, such as liposuction, to further enhance your results and help you attain a smoother, toner body.

What is life like after my procedure, and when can I sleep normally?

After your tummy tuck is complete, Dr. Mesbahi will examine you and send you home with a compression garment to help with swelling. You may have trouble standing and walking for the first few days, so it is best to rest and recover. You can resume normal activities after two weeks and exercise after about two months with Dr. Mesbahi’s clearance. You should be done having children before a tummy tuck, as pregnancy can seriously affect any results you have. You will have to sleep on your back slightly upright for six weeks following your treatment. After this, you can get examined and cleared to lay and sleep flat on your stomach. If you sleep on your stomach too early, you can inhibit healing and hurt your recovery. If you are looking to gain a tighter appearance with a tummy tuck, contact Mesbahi Plastic Surgery in McLean, VA to learn how our office can help you today.

Where can I get a tummy tuck in McLean, VA?

After your tummy tuck, you should avoid laying and sleeping on your stomach for at least six weeks. After this, with approval from Dr. Alex Mesbahi, you can resume sleeping on your tummy without fear of hurting your recovering abdomen. Our office services patients near McLean, VA and Washington, D.C. If you think a tummy tuck could help you become more toned and slim, you can schedule a consultation with Dr. Mesbahi at any time. Contact Mesbahi Plastic Surgery in McLean, VA for a full consultation on the state of your plastic surgery needs.

When can you sleep on your stomach after a tummy tuck?

Recovering from a tummy tuck is a perfect opportunity to catch up on much-needed rest. However, after tummy tuck surgery, you are required to stay off your stomach for several weeks, which can be difficult for stomach-sleepers. 

Woman sleeping on her back in her bed comfortably.

During your tummy tuck recovery, you will need to find new comfortable sleeping positions that allow you to stay off your stomach. 

Why Can I Not Sleep on My Stomach After Tummy Tuck Surgery?

For many of us, sleeping on our stomach feels natural. It is when we are the most comfortable. 

However, a tummy tuck is a major surgery, and it takes time for the muscles and tissues to heal and recover. Sleeping directly on your stomach puts too much weight and pressure on your abdomen, interfering with its ability to heal. This can not only damage your muscles, but it can affect your results. 

After spending the time and money to undergo a tummy tuck, the last thing you want is for your sleeping position to mess up your results—or cause you pain. 

When Can I Sleep on My Stomach Following My Surgery? 

As you know by now, sleeping on your stomach while recovering from tummy tuck surgery can be damaging to your results. 

So, how long will you have to avoid sleeping on your stomach? 

It is recommended that patients avoid stomach sleeping for at least six weeks after surgery. During those six weeks, your abdomen is healing and producing your results. You do not want your sleeping position to disrupt this process. 

It is important to note that some patients heal differently and may need to stay off their stomachs for more than six weeks. Please speak with your surgeon regarding when it is safe to return to your normal sleeping position. 

If I Cannot Sleep on My Stomach After My Tummy Tuck, How Should I Sleep? 

Since you cannot sleep on your stomach after your tummy tuck, you may be wondering what comfortable, safe sleeping position is right for you. Surgeons often recommend sleeping on your back while recovering from a tummy tuck, but you may be able to sleep on your side a few weeks after surgery. 

When you sleep on your back, you should elevate yourself with pillows. This can help make sleeping on your back more comfortable and easier to get used to. Additionally, sleeping flat on your back stretches out your abdomen and can harm the incisions. 


Beautiful young woman smiling during sleeping while lying in the bed at home (model)

If you are contemplating a tummy tuck, you probably have several questions about the recovery stage. Most people, for example, want to know how to sleep after a tummy tuck without straining their incisions. Fortunately, there are many ways to comfortably rest after your tummy tuck without sleeping on your stomach or side. In this post, I’ll offer some tips for relaxing and sleeping after your procedure.

Sleep on Your Back

The best position to sleep after your tummy tuck is on your back. This position might be uncomfortable if you usually sleep on your side or stomach, but most patients get used to this position quickly. Sleeping on your stomach or side can strain your incisions and result in post-operative complications. If you have trouble sleeping on your back, try sleeping in a recliner. Recliners won’t allow you to move or roll over inadvertently while you’re sleeping, and they often make it easier to get up in the morning. You can also use pillows or rolled-up towels under your knees to support your lower back and around your sides to anchor your position and make you feel more comfortable.

Sleep With Your Upper Body Elevated

Along with sleeping on your back, it’s important to keep your head and upper body elevated when you sleep or rest. Elevating your upper body keeps your midsection in a slightly bent position, preventing strain on your incisions. Sleeping on propped-up pillows, a pillow wedge, or in a recliner are easy ways to keep your upper body elevated while you sleep. The length of time to sleep with your body elevated will depend on whether you have a mini tummy tuck or a full tummy tuck. After a full tummy tuck, you usually need to sleep with your head elevated for around 4 to 6 weeks. Most people with mini tummy tucks need to sleep elevated for 1 to 3 weeks.

How Long Do I Have To Sleep On My Back?

If sleeping on your back is not naturally comfortable, you will be eager to know when you can sleep in your usual position. Typically, you will need to sleep on your back anywhere from 3 to 6 weeks or longer. Your plastic surgeon will be the best guide on this subject. You should not resume sleeping on your stomach or side until your plastic surgeon says it’s OK. Sleeping on your stomach too soon can strain your incision and affect your tummy tuck results. Protecting your tummy tuck results with a few weeks of back-sleeping will be worth it, as you can see in some of our patients’ tummy tuck before and after photos.

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Sleeping well after a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) is essential for a full recovery. In order to recover effectively and stay healthy, choosing the right sleeping position after tummy tuck surgery is vital. Let’s look at what positions you should use when sleeping after an abdominoplasty, as well as what positions to avoid.

Sleeping After a Tummy Tuck: What to Expect

After surgery, your body needs time and rest to heal naturally. Most patients are able to return to light activity after about 2 or 3 weeks, with a full recovery in about 6 to 8 weeks. Until then, exercise, heavy lifting, and strenuous physical activity should be avoided. The same is true for certain sleeping positions that could inhibit the healing process. 

An abdominoplasty requires patience and commitment to heal from, and the healing process includes changing the way that you sleep for a few months. In the first week after the procedure, patients will often experience some bruising, swelling, and discomfort in the treatment area; sleeping in the wrong way can exacerbate these side effects. Patients should attentively follow their surgeon’s aftercare instructions, including maintaining the correct sleeping position. This can be uncomfortable for some people and might take some getting used to, but it’s worth making the changes to heal quickly and correctly.

After surgery, your body goes into overdrive trying to heal incisions, fight off infections, and remove any anesthesia. This can be physically exhausting, making sleep even more important. When you’re sleeping, your body can focus all of its attention on the healing process. Without the right amount of sleep in a position that’s conducive to healing, your body may take longer to heal and struggle while doing so.

Sleeping Positions and Other Options

Since sleeping after a tummy tuck is so important, you need to understand how to do it correctly and comfortably. Here are a few tips that can help you get the type of sleep your body needs.

Sleeping on Your Back After Tummy Tuck

The best sleeping position after a tummy tuck is to lie on your back with your upper body elevated. Your body should be slightly bent and form a gentle angle. Using a recliner or the right combination of pillows can help you achieve this position. 

When you get in this position, any pressure or strain on your incision is relieved. That makes post-operative complications less likely if you can remain in this position for all the hours you’re sleeping. Staying like this also prevents the likelihood of your rolling onto your stomach during the night. Rolled-up towels or extra pillows can make great buffers to make sure that you don’t move too much.  

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While this might not seem like the most comfortable choice, most people find this to be the most comfortable option after surgery. It alleviates any tension and lets you relax so you can get the rest you need.

Using Compression Garments

Compression garments are helpful in healing your incision. They aid with fluid absorption and scar healing while helping the skin conform to its new position. Additionally, they can help stop stretching when you move during the night, making sleep more comfortable and easier to maintain uninterrupted. 

You’ll most likely be set up with a binder or girdle garment and told to wear it at all times for the first three weeks after surgery. This can make you more comfortable at night while helping your body heal correctly.

What Positions to Avoid After Surgery

Sleeping on your side or stomach after a tummy tuck are both bad options for the healing process. These positions can cause blood pooling in the treatment area, which can make the swelling and bruising much worse. It can also cause the healing process to take longer than usual. 

These positions are also likely to be painful for people recovering from an abdominoplasty, as they can irritate the incision and put pressure in uncomfortable places. These factors are great motivators in helping people make temporary adjustments to the way they sleep at night.

When Can I Sleep on My Stomach After a Tummy Tuck?

Sleeping after a tummy tuck requires that you change your normal position until you’ve fully recovered. However, recovery times for this type of surgery can vary depending on the procedure. In general, a mini-tuck may heal fully in 1 or 2 weeks, while a full procedure typically takes 6 to 8 weeks. Remember: These are only general estimates, and you should always consult with your surgeon about your personal recovery timeline.

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