Answers to Your Tummy Tuck Recovery FAQs: How to Sleep & More

Woman with hands on bare stomach and towel around her waist. (MODEL)

The recovery process after a tummy tuck will not be the same for everyone. After your initial recovery, your tummy tuck results will keep changing and improving for 3 to 6 months. So, what is the best way to navigate tummy tuck recovery and get optimal results? In this post, I will answer your most pressing questions about the surgery.

How Does a Tummy Tuck Work?

A tummy tuck, also called an abdominoplasty, involves reshaping the midsection to address loose and sagging skin, weakened abdominal muscles, and excess fat. Your plastic surgeon will make a longer or shorter incision depending on the type of tummy tuck you choose. After the procedure, you will need someone to drive you home.

Read this related blog for a week-by-week recovery timeline after a tummy tuck, and watch the following video to learn how mini tummy tuck recovery may differ from a full tummy tuck:

How Should I Sleep After a Tummy Tuck?

Sleeping on your back with your upper body elevated is best after tummy tuck surgery. This position prevents strain on your incisions and makes getting up and down easier. Most of our patients have no issues sleeping on their back propped up with pillows or in a recliner for a week or two. You can resume sleeping on your side by about 3 weeks after surgery, as long as your surgeon agrees. You will need to wait several more weeks before you can sleep on your stomach.

How Long After a Tummy Tuck Can I Have Sex?

I advise my patients to wait about 4 to 6 weeks before being intimate with their partners. Although the timeline won’t be the same for everyone, there is a risk of damaging your incisions and slowing down the healing process if you are intimate too soon.

Is a Tummy Tuck Dangerous?

Although there is some risk involved anytime you undergo a surgical procedure, a tummy tuck is generally safe when performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon who screens the patient carefully for health concerns. It’s essential to choose a plastic surgeon with extensive experience performing tummy tucks and the knowledge to handle unexpected complications.

You are also more likely to have a safe outcome if you don’t smoke and are in good general health. Smoking constricts the blood vessels and interferes with blood flow to your vital organs during recovery. If possible, refrain from smoking 4 to 6 weeks before and after your surgery.

How Soon Can I Drive After a Tummy Tuck?

You must wait 1 to 2 weeks after your tummy tuck before you can drive. You should stop using pain relievers or muscle relaxers before you start driving. Operating a vehicle is okay once your body feels strong and agile enough, and you can respond to an emergency if necessary.

Recovering from a tummy tuck is challenging, and I am happy to answer questions about the recovery process. This before-and-after gallery shows the excellent results my patients achieve after a tummy tuck. To learn more about tummy tuck recovery, request a consultation or call us at (713) 571-0600 to schedule an appointment.