Should you lay on your side after having a tummy tuck? I am 3 days po and my back and butt are a bit sore from laying on them.

Doctor Answers 10

Tummy tuck and sleeping position

I allow my patients to sleep on their side if they are comfortable as long as their legs are bent a bit.  You should touch base with your surgeon to ask his opinion.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Abdominoplasty position


The correct answer is to tell you to follow your surgeons instructions.  That being said, I usually have my postop abdominoplasty patients lay either on their back in a seated/reclined position with their knees and abdomen slightly bent to relieve tension on the front of the stomach (the abdominal flap), or on their sides with their knees bent (for the same reason).

Hope you continue to improve without isuues.  Good luck.

Dr. T

Douglas Taranow, DO, FACOS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Sleeping after a Tummy Tuck

Stay on your back! Sleeping on your side or stomach can put tension on your incision. I tell me patients to be comfortable but be very cautious.

Leo Lapuerta, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Tummy tuck - the correct sleep position

Thank you for asking about your tummy tuck.

  • I let my patients sleep in whatever position is comfortable - our bodies tend to know what is right.
  • You will quickly get severe back pain from sleeping on your back all the time.
  • Ask your surgeon if sleeping on your side is ok - 
  • Have some extra pillows to support you.

Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews


Thank you for your question. It is essential to follow instructions from your surgeon , in general i prefer that clients wait at least 10 days after surgery before turning to the side during the night. Best of luck

Derby Sang Caputo, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Positioning after tummy tuck

Pillows are a patient's best friend after a tummy tuck.  Use them under your knees and shoulders. You can put one under one hip to bring some pressure relief for your back, then switch to the other side.  Of course it is always best to check with your surgeon first.  It won't be long before you're able to move completely to sleeping on your side.

Camille Cash, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Should you lay on your side after having a tummy tuck?

First of all thank you for the question.  I would suggestion following your surgeons post operative advice.  I recommend that my patients sleep in a recliner or a reclined position and pillows under your knees for at least a week.  After a week if they feel more comfortable they may tuck a pillow in the side and sleep a little on their side.  Best of Luck.

Heather Rocheford, MD
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

Should you lay on your side after having a tummy tuck?

If you have a recliner, this works well with extra pillows under the knees.  Ask your surgeon about positions he recommends in this early healing stage.

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Positioning post tummy tuck

You should follow the instructions given to you by your surgeon, that being said, we have our patients lie on their backs in a reclined position(a couple of pillows behind their back and 1-2 pillows under the knees), as to not put pressure on the incision for approximately 5-7 days. If you have a recliner, spruce it up, add extra pillows may also be easier for you to get up and down from a recliner than from your bed.

Clayton L. Moliver, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Lying on your side

Check with your doctor, but generally I will let my patients lie on their side after about a week.  If they just can't stand it anymore, then lying on your side probably won't hurt anything as long as the incision does not extend around the side of your abdomen. 

Allen M. Doezie, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.