Sleeping Positions for Recovery after Breast Surgery
Breast procedures such as breast augmentation, breast reduction, and breast lift can help you feel more comfortable and confident in your own body and improve your overall quality of life. The recovery period after any kind of breast cosmetic surgery can be challenging. One of the questions we get from breast surgery patients is how to sleep better after breast surgery.
The best recommendation is to get plenty of rest after breast surgery, but it can be difficult to get comfortable at night. In this article, we will discuss how to sleep so you can recover more easily.
Dr Scott Turner is an experienced Sydney Plastic Surgeon and Breast Surgery Expert – find out more about his Breast Procedures and look at his Real Patients before and after pictures to see what results can be achieved.
The Link between good Sleep and Recovery after Cosmetic Breast Surgery
A good night’s sleep can really help after surgery. Adequate rest can improve the outcome and results of your surgery. If you are sleeping poorly, you might be risking unsatisfactory results and a prolonged recovery period. Having adequate sleep will lead to better healing and is crucial for recovery. It will not only help with recovery but will play an important role in dealing with the emotional aspects of undergoing plastic surgery.
What to Expect during Recovery from Breast Surgery
All breast procedures mentioned above are performed with the patient under general anaesthesia. Most patients will be asked to stay in the hospital overnight to ensure there is no risk of complications. When everything goes well, you can return home the following morning. During the first week, your breasts will be quite swollen, bruised and sore. It is normal and expected regardless of the type of breast surgery procedure you had. Most of these symptoms will subside in about a month’s time. It is crucial to follow all Dr Turner’s instructions precisely if you want the recovery period to go smoothly and feel like yourself as soon as possible.
Importance of Sleep during Recovery after Breast Surgery
Getting enough sleep is crucial to the process of recovery after any kind of breast surgery. When you close your eyes and slide into the bed, you can almost feel that your body is shutting down. This is the time when your body is healing, repairing, and rejuvenating.
When you are sleeping, your brain attends to the areas in the body that require healing and repair. Your brain triggers the hormones that promote the growth of your tissues, and repair blood vessels. It will result in the restoration of sore and damaged muscles and lead to fast recovery. Moreover, sleep is an important immunity booster that helps your body fight possible infections. Sleeping slows down your breathing, relaxes your sore muscles, minimises swelling in the breast tissue and helps you recover.
Sleeping Comfortably After Breast Augmentation / Reduction/ Lift
Recovery after breast procedures is a progressive process. You need to commit to certain steps in order to achieve the best results. As mentioned above, sleeping is crucial to your recovery process. Here is a list of some do’s and don’ts that will help you sleep comfortably after the breast surgery:
1. Prepare Early
If you are a tummy or a side sleeper, you have to start your sleep prep in advance of the surgery. At least a month or two before the surgery, start sleeping on your back. A sudden change in the sleeping position, especially when you are dealing with pain and discomfort is never going to work in your favour. You can use pillows underneath your arms and sides to help keep you in the right position.
2. Sleeping in an Elevated Position
After surgery, you will be advised to sleep on your back in a slightly elevated position. Sleeping in this position is important because it avoids putting pressure on your incisions and also helps reduce swelling. It will give your incisions time to heal and your breasts to settle down. Keeping your body elevated at a 30 to 45 degrees angle can greatly minimise swelling and discomfort after your breast surgery. In order to sleep comfortably, consider adding a few soft pillows to your bed or get a recliner.
3. Avoid Sleeping on Your Side
You should avoid sleeping on your side till your incisions have healed fully. Once the initial three to four weeks have passed, most patients can sleep on their side. It is important to take extra precautions while doing so. Some of the tips include wearing a surgical bra and placing pillows underneath your breasts. When you can, it is best to avoid putting pressure on your breast as long as you are not fully healed. Your breasts need additional support and this allows you to sleep comfortably.
4. Don’t Sleep on Your Tummy
If you usually sleep on the tummy, you’ll be uncomfortable after the surgery. Sleeping on your tummy is to be avoided after breast surgery for at least 12 weeks. Tummy sleeping will put pressure on your breasts and can cause damage to your results. Wait for your approval from Dr Turner before deciding to switch positions. Most people are able to sleep on their tummy after 12 weeks after the surgery.
Tips to Sleep Better After Breast Augmentation
Apart from the correct sleep position, you can take additional measures to help you sleep. These tips can ensure you have a comfortable sleep:
1. Gentle Movement & Walking
It is natural to feel fatigued after any cosmetic breast surgery. However, moving around a bit isn’t only great for healing. Walking around your room or the house also helps improve your sleep patterns. Moreover, it also minimises the risk of blood clots. Avoid overdoing it though.
2. Wear a Support Bra
After breast surgery, Dr Turner will instruct you to wear a supportive bra for at least a month. Wearing support bras 24/7 will give your breasts much-needed support, ease tension in the surgical site, and minimise swelling. Moreover, a good supportive bra will minimise the risk of ruining your results while sleeping.
3. Warm Showers
We all like to soak in a nice warm bath at the end of the day. While you are not allowed to take baths during the initial phases of recovery, a quick warm shower before hopping into bed might help you sleep better. Make sure to follow Dr Turner’s instructions when it comes to showering and caring for your bandages and incisions.
4. Avoid Sleep Disruptors
Coke, tea, coffee, alcohol, sugar, and electronic devices can negatively affect your sleeping pattern. You don’t want to be wide awake throughout the night. Try finding a relaxing routine for yourself.
5. Take your Medication
Dr Turner will prescribe pain medication to offer symptomatic relief after breast surgery. A certain level of pain and discomfort is to be expected after any kind of surgery, especially breast surgery that targets a delicate area of the body. Taking your prescribed medication on time can help reduce discomfort and pain associated with the recovery period and ensure you sleep better throughout the night. A sleeping aid is rarely needed but Dr Turner might prescribe it if you are unable to sleep.
FAQs about Recovery and Sleep after Breast Surgery
Here is a list of frequently asked questions we get regarding breast surgery recovery and sleep:
How long do I need to sleep elevated after breast augmentation?
- It is recommended to sleep in an elevated position at a 30-45 degree angle for around six weeks after your breast augmentation surgery. This position will help minimise swelling and soreness and can decrease the risk of scar tissue formation.
When can I sleep on my side after breast surgery?
- You can begin sleeping on your side, 3 to 4 weeks after breast augmentation surgery. Sleeping on your side too soon can put too much pressure on your incisions and cause unwanted complications.
Can I sleep on my tummy after breast surgery?
- You can sleep on your tummy after about 12 weeks post-surgery. Avoid sleeping on your side as well. Sleeping on your side could lead to severe chest discomfort and can malposition your implants if you got a breast augmentation.
Is it ok to sleep without a bra after breast augmentation?
- Wear a supportive bra for at least six to eight weeks after the breast augmentation even while sleeping. So, it is not ok to sleep without a compression bra. Keep it on night and day.
How do I keep my breasts perky after surgery?
- Pregnancy, smoking and weight fluctuation can impact the aspect of your breasts. Make sure to wear fitted bras, watch your posture, maintain a healthy weight, lead an active lifestyle, and stick to all the pre and post-care instructions given to you at the time of surgery.
What if I cannot sleep despite following all the tips?
- Well, if you fail to get a good night’s rest even after following all the instructions given in this article, it is time to reach out to your surgeon. Your surgeon might prescribe you a sleeping aid or help you figure out the cause.
Always Do Your Research
- Enquire to find out more about your surgery
- Please read our website to learn more about your intended procedure
Do you need a Medical Referral to see Dr Turner?
- A GP Referral is required to Consult with Dr Turner (under new AHPRA Regulations)
- Please obtain a referral from your GP or Specialist if you want a consultation for an MBS item number surgery.
- Please note that your Medicare Rebates will NOT be claimable without a valid recent Medical Referral
Making The Most Of Your Consultation
- Please arrive slightly early for your in-person consultation
- You are welcome to bring a friend or relative to help consider the information and discuss your options
- Please be aware you may need to undress for a physical exam so wear simple clothes
- Ensure you also take a lot of notes during the consultation and thoroughly examine all the documents provided
Want more information before scheduling your consultation?
- Find out more about pricing and payment plans
- Request more information about the procedure – call or contact us
How to Book Your Consultation
- You can book your initial consultation by paying the $350 cosmetic consultation fee in advance – when you make your appointment
BOOK A PHONE CALL FOR MORE INFO
- To find out more information about surgery you can book a FREE 15-minute phone conversation with our Friendly Patient Care team via Calendly- Book Consultant 1 or Book Consultant 2
Contact us or call on 1300 437 758 to arrange your surgeon consultation in Sydney.