As you prepare for tummy tuck recovery, you may assume the best place to start is by finding new shows to stream, buying that book you’ve been putting off reading, or stocking up on healthy snacks. But sound sleep is critical for proper healing during the weeks after your surgery. Triple board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Ali Sajjadian and his dedicated staff in Newport Beach, California, instruct each tummy tuck patient to equip themselves for a comfortable and effective recovery.
Here is essential information to help you understand what to expect after abdominoplasty, including how long your recovery should take and tips for getting the best sleep possible.
What Does a Tummy Tuck Do?
Also known as abdominoplasty, tummy tuck surgery is a transformative body contouring procedure that sculpts a firmer, flatter, sleeker abdominal area by removing excess skin and tightening what remains. In addition, Dr. Sajjadian often adds liposuction to remove stubborn fat and deliver a more pleasing result. Cosmetic concerns improved or corrected with abdominoplasty include:
- Sagging abdominal skin after pregnancy or weight loss
- Diastasis recti
- A belly pooch
- Stubborn abdominal fat
How Long Is Tummy Tuck Recovery?
Tummy tuck recovery varies from patient to patient because everyone heals differently due to various lifestyle factors. You might also need to take longer if you choose to have additional procedures performed, as with a mommy makeover. However, most patients return to work and light activities two to three weeks after an abdominoplasty.
After that, exercise, heavy lifting, and other strenuous physical activities may be off-limits for six to eight weeks or possibly longer. Throughout your tummy tuck recovery, Dr. Sajjadian will monitor your healing closely and inform when it is safe to resume your everyday routines.
It is essential to remember that abdominoplasty is an extensive procedure and requires commitment and patience during the healing process. Expect swelling, bruising, and discomfort during the first week, though these effects should greatly diminish after two weeks. Following Dr. Sajjadian’s aftercare guidelines is critical for the quickest, most comfortable recovery possible.
But What About Sleep?
Here are some tips we hope will aid you in getting the quality, restful sleep you need during your abdominoplasty recovery.
Recliners are excellent for abdominoplasty patients for multiple reasons. First, they are ideal for back sleeping. Even if you’re a natural side or stomach sleeper, you’ll have no choice to stay flat on your back in a recliner.
The other good news is that a recliner gives you complete control over the amount of bend in your body while resting. You’ll have the freedom to alternate various angles until you settle on the one that’s just right.
Sleeping in a reclined position helps your incisions heal without putting excessive pressure on your abdomen. Dr. Sajjadian recommends you sleep in a reclined position for three to four weeks after surgery, depending on the level of correction performed.
Traditional tummy tucks with incisions running the length of your pelvis may require up to four weeks of sleeping in a recliner to enhance healing during recovery. However, mini tummy tuck patients can spend less time in a recliner because the incisions are shorter and less involved.
Additionally, Dr. Sajjadian recommends his patients maintain a constant bending position during the first seven days after abdominoplasty. That means keeping your body slightly hunched, whether you’re resting, sleeping, or standing.
2. Your Bed
If you feel more comfortable in your bed, you still must rest and sleep in a bent position. You can accomplish this by using with multiple pillows or medical-grade contoured pillows. These will help you place your body position with minimal stress on the abdomen and reduce the risk of your sutures rupturing.
Also, take special care when getting out of bed to maintain the same jackknifed position throughout. Sleep close to the bed’s edge to ensure entries and exits are as smooth as possible. Ensure your mattress is firm enough that it won’t buckle under the pressure.
Maximum comfort is essential during recovery from tummy tuck surgery, so remaining slightly bent throughout the night is non-negotiable. This positioning will ensure your upper body remains elevated and the entire body receives enough bend to ease the pressure on your abdominal incisions and sutures throughout the night.
3. Compression Garments
Tighter, flatter abdominal muscles are one of the most notable benefits of abdominoplasty. Wearing compression garments over your midsection during recovery helps ensure the abdominal wall gets the support it needs during recovery.
Some popular options include abdominal girdles, binders, and surgical garments in corset-like designs. Whatever option you choose, ensure it delivers the correct compression without causing abdominal discomfort.
During recovery, compressing abdominal incisions reduces swelling and inflammation and speeds up the healing process.
Do not forget to check with Dr. Sajjadian before wearing any compression garment he doesn’t provide.
4. Establish a Sleep Schedule
A regular sleep schedule is an excellent way to enjoy restful nights during tummy tuck recovery. The stress of healing from an invasive surgery will cause swelling and bruising and make it harder for you to relax or sleep through the night. However, establishing a consistent bedtime is a subtle way to train your body and mind to prepare for a full night’s sleep.
5. Your Diet and Sleep
Your diet can be an essential part of the abdominoplasty recovery process, which is why it’s crucial to watch what you eat.
Foods like berries, broccoli, and nuts have significant collagen, which reduces inflammation levels. In addition, cod liver oil has known pain reduction and anti-inflammatory benefits.
Here are some other diet tips to consider:
- Drink green tea for a boost in antioxidants and immunity.
- Eat fiber-rich foods to ease bowel movements.
- Consume fruits like pineapples to boost appetite levels and reduce swelling.
- Eat probiotics like yogurt.
- Candied ginger or ginger tea are excellent ways to relieve nausea.
Heal More Easily and Enjoy Your Results More
A tummy tuck can be difficult on your body, resulting in bruising, swelling, and significant discomfort. In addition, abdominoplasty recovery could spike anxiety levels, resulting in sleep difficulties like insomnia or tossing and turning all night.
However, sleeping in a reclined position can provide the comfort level necessary to get sleep through the night with minimal interruptions. Also, taking your pain meds, wearing compression garments, and sleeping on the right mattress can reduce inflammation levels for optimal shuteye.