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Sleep Positions after Plastic Surgery

Sleep Positions after Plastic Surgery

Getting an adequate amount of sleep is one of the best ways to help your body heal after plastic surgery. But most procedures require you to slumber in a modified position for a few weeks after surgery to minimize swelling, protect healing incisions and avoid putting pressure on the treated area.

The best person to talk to about modifying your sleep position after plastic surgery is your surgeon. Below, Dr. Samuel Pearl and Dr. Alexander Ereso share the basics to enjoy restful (and safe!) sleep.

Facial Procedures

If you have facelift, eyelid surgery or another facial rejuvenation procedure, you will be advised to sleep with your head elevated (i.e., above your heart) during the initial healing period. This helps minimize swelling and avoids irritating your healing incisions.

You can sleep in a recliner or propped up on large pillows. You might find u-shaped pillows or pillows with “arms” helpful to prevent yourself from rolling over while you sleep. You can also look into using a neck pillow, similar to what you see used on airplanes. Another option is purchasing a 30-degree wedge pillow from a medical supply store. Sleep with the back of your head, not the sides, on the pillow or recliner cushion.

Breast Surgery Procedures

If you have breast surgery, you will need to put pressure on your healing tissues and incisions. As with facial surgery, you can either sleep at a reclined angle in a chair, or on your back in bed, using pillows to keep yourself from rolling onto your sides or stomach.

Body Procedures

Sleep position after body contouring surgery depends on the specific procedure performed. If you have tummy tuck, you will need to avoid sleeping on your stomach or sides; it is best to sleep in a reclined position at a slight angle (i.e., not totally flat) so that you do not have to strain to sit or stand up.

On the other hand, if you have Brazilian butt lift surgery, you will not be able to sleep on your back to avoid putting pressure on the transplanted fat, which is very fragile. You must sleep on your stomach or your sides, being careful not to roll over onto your back as this may disrupt the fat and prevent it from surviving.

We Are Here to Help

Sleeping in a reclined position or propped up on pillows can be challenging if you are accustomed to sleeping on your sides or stomach. “Practicing” this sleep position prior to surgery might be useful.

If you have questions about sleep position after plastic surgery, please contact our Mountain View office today.