When Can I Sleep on My Side After Tummy Tuck?

When Can I Sleep on My Side After Tummy Tuck?

In 2020, there were 15.6 million cosmetic procedures performed. Nearly 100,000 of those procedures were abdominoplasties, a.k.a tummy tucks.

If you’re considering having a tummy tuck, there are a number of things you need to know before you lie on the operating table. Your pre and aftercare routines may be very specific and prescribed by your doctor. Part of that routine will be changing the way you sleep.

If you’re a side sleeper interested in getting a tummy tuck, be prepared to change positions. Here’s why, and how SONU can help you rest comfortably.

When Will I Be Able To Sleep on My Side Again?

Unless your doctor tells you that you can sleep in the modified side position mentioned earlier, you can expect to sleep on your back for several weeks. You can resume sleeping on your side once your incision has healed, under the instruction of your doctor.

If you are still experiencing pain when making minimal movements, your doctor may tell you to keep sleeping on your back until it subsides.

The SONU Sleep System can help make side sleeping more comfortable as you recover from your surgery. The SONU mattress features a plush top layer of serene foam that offers sink-in support and spine alignment, helping you wake up feeling rested and refreshed — not sore.

The patented Comfort Channel allows side sleepers to fully immerse their arms and shoulders into the bed, enjoying full range of motion and pressure relief.

If you are ready to sleep comfortably, even while recovering, consider the SONU Sleep System.

How Should I Prepare for a Tummy Tuck?

Your doctor will tell you everything you need to do to prepare for tummy tuck surgery. Some of these involve making changes to your lifestyle.

Practice Sleeping on Your Back

After your surgery, it’s recommended that you sleep on your back. However, in some cases, it’s okay to sleep on your side in a modified position with pillows under your knees. The pillows help keep pressure off of your stomach muscles, which will likely be quite sore during recovery.

To prepare, practice sleeping on your back a week or two before your surgery. If you aren’t used to sleeping this way, it might feel uncomfortable at first. The worst thing you could do is wait until the last minute to practice sleeping in a recovery position that you aren’t used to.

Enlist Help

You’re going to need help after your surgery. Enlist some friends or family in advance to help you and work out a schedule.

Someone may need to stay with you for a few days after your surgery, so figure out who that should be before the day of the procedure. This person can help make sure your needs are taken care of while you are recovering immediately after the procedure.

After a tummy tuck, you will likely need help in ways that you might not initially think of. For example, you won’t be able to drive for up to two weeks after surgery. Who will drive you to appointments? Will you feel comfortable taking a taxi or rideshare?

It will be hard to move around for a while after your surgery. Movements we take for granted, like bending, walking, standing, and lifting, will probably all be a bit more difficult for you. Someone may have to help you move around and do most of the lifting on your behalf.

If you have children, find a caretaker that can keep your kids for a few weeks or come take care of them in your home. This can be a family member, close friend, or former partner.

Stock Up Your Fridge

Your doctor will probably tell you to eat light foods after your surgery. Changing your diet before your procedure can help take away some of the shock factor (or displeasure) you may feel from changing your eating habits.

Some foods that you should stock up on before you leave for the hospital are:

  • Proteins like poultry, fish, beans, eggs, cheese, yogurt, and lean meats.
  • Vitamin-rich foods like leafy greens, tomatoes, oranges, avocados, and bananas.

Foods that you should stop eating in preparation for your post-surgery diet are:

  • Alcohol
  • Foods high in sugar
  • Anything high in salt
  • Carbonated beverages

What Should I Expect Post Tummy Tuck?

Tummy tuck recovery can be gruesome. You, your doctor, and your support system should all be prepared for what’s to come.


As with most cosmetic procedures, you can expect to see a scar after your tummy tuck. The incision site will have stitches. The initial appearance of the scar might make you question your choice, but the right scar treatment will reduce the appearance of your scar over time.


One part of cosmetic surgeries like tummy tucks that people don’t expect is drainage. Your surgeon will insert small tubes in your abdomen to drain fluids that collect around your incision. These drains will remain in place for several weeks. You or your caretaker are going to need to empty them multiple times per day. Your doctor or nurse will show you how to do this before you are discharged.


Your surgical incisions will be covered with bandages and you’ll need to wear compression garments to support you in recovery. You’ll have to wear compression garments all the time, except when you bathe, of course. Some patients are allowed to stop wearing them a couple of weeks after their drain tubes have been removed; sometimes, they have to wear them a little bit longer.


If you are a bath fan, you may be disappointed. You will not be allowed to take a bath or get in a hot tub after your procedure. You can begin taking showers a few days after you’re discharged. You may be instructed to use gentle, unscented soap so your incision will not become irritated.


Hopefully, after reading this article, you feel more informed about your tummy tuck recovery process and sleep positions. If you are about to undergo a tummy tuck or other surgical procedure, and you want to come home to a bed that relieves pressure from your aching body, you’ll want to try the SONU Sleep System.

SONU has surpassed the traditional flat-mattress design and created a bed that provides relief to your neck and shoulders, areas that other mattresses ignore.

Don’t wait until the last minute. Order your SONU mattress today.


2020 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report | American Society of Plastic Surgeons

Tummy Tuck Recovery: What to Expect | University of Utah Health

Your Tummy Tuck Recovery Diet | Karl B. Hiatt, MD

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