Having breast reconstruction at the Dr. Usal Cosmetic Surgery Center in Paramus, NJ can be a great way to help you feel confident and beautiful. As with any surgical procedure, there are certain things you’ll need to do to ensure that your body heals properly. Once of these will be how you sleep after your surgery.
Can I Sleep on My Side After Breast Reconstruction?
In time, you certainly can. For the first few weeks after your breast reconstruction, however, you will have to sleep on your back. This will ensure that you heal properly and that your implants don’t move out of place.
In time, your body will produce natural scar tissue that will form around your implant. Until that occurs, the position of your implant is susceptible to outside forces and can move around in your body. If you sleep on your side before the scar tissue has a chance to form, this could cause the implant to slide out of position.
Not only can sleeping on your side shift the position of your implant, but it can have an impact on the incision. You will have extra pressure on your body because of the breast reconstruction surgery, and moving to your side will stretch and strain the skin. This can lead to stretched scars or even popped stitches. To prevent these from happening, lay on your back to sleep for as long as possible.
Best Ways to Sleep on Your Back
If you are normally a side or stomach sleeper, then sleeping on your back might be a challenge. You may naturally move in the middle of the night to your side or stomach. This action will probably wake you up, but to prevent it from happening in the first place, there are some steps you can take.
Sleep in a Recliner
For the first few weeks, it’s recommended that you sleep in a reclining position. Probably the best and easiest way to remain on your back after breast reconstruction surgery is to sleep in a recliner. The angle and size of the chair will prevent you from rolling onto your side or stomach, but it will also keep you feeling supported.
Having an adjustable bed that allows you to move the head into an inclined position can also be beneficial. This will ensure that you are staying on your back as you sleep and keep you comfortable and supported.
If you don’t have a recliner or adjustable bed at your home, then you can use pillows to keep you from rolling onto your side. You’ll place these next to your body as a barrier to keep you from moving. You might also consider placing some under your back to keep your implants supported as you sleep.
You can also use pillows to create a reclining position in bed. Again, you’ll want to use pillows, and you can prop them up behind you to keep you in the right position. You can also place them under your knees and your lower back for more support.
It may also be a good idea to get a wedge-shaped pillow for your recovery. Investing in one of these will keep you in the right position and keep you supported. With this pillow, you won’t have to worry about it bunching up or losing shape during the night, which could make sleeping uncomfortable.
Training Yourself to Sleep on Your Back
If you don’t normally sleep on your back, you’ll want to train yourself for this sleeping position before you go in for your breast reconstruction. It may take a little bit of time and patience, but it will be worth it to aid in the healing process and keep your implants in the correct position.
Have the Right Mattress
Sleeping on your back is much different than sleeping on your side or stomach, and it creates different pressure points that can lead to lower back pain. If you have a soft mattress, this can make the problem worse. For optimum back sleeping, you’ll need to get a medium-firm to firm mattress.
A firm mattress will spread your weight more evenly and reduce the pressure points that are created at your hips and shoulders. If you don’t want to buy a whole new mattress, there is the option of getting a topper. This can be a more affordable option but still give you the support you need.
In addition to having the right mattress, you’ll also need the right pillow. You’ll need something that can cradle your head and neck, so you might consider getting a shaped pillow or one that you can adjust for added comfort.
Create Barriers With Pillows
Once again, adding pillows around your body can be just what you need to keep from rolling onto your side or stomach. You can buy several regular-sized pillows to accomplish this task, or you may consider getting body-length pillows to help with the process. Either of these options can help you stay on your back comfortably throughout the night.
You can also place pillows under your knees to relieve the pressure on those joints as well as the pressure on your lower back. These may also help in keeping you from rolling onto your side or stomach in the middle of the night.
Change Your Bedtime Routine
Sleeping on your back has an impact on your body’s alignment throughout the night. It has an impact on your bones, organs, and muscles. If you’re not used to sleeping on your back, you may find that you wake up stiff and sore. To prevent this from happening, you might consider changing your bedtime routine.
Adding stretching or yoga into your before-bed routine can loosen your muscles and joints so that they don’t get stiff as you sleep. Doing either of these exercises can also be a great way to help you relax and unwind after a long day.
It’s also advised that you don’t eat a huge meal right before you go to sleep. When sleeping on your back, if you have a lot of food in your stomach, this can make it uncomfortable to lie down and can lead to indigestion and heartburn. To reduce the chances of either of those occurring, limit the amount of food you ingest before bed.
Figure Out What Makes Sleeping on Your Side or Stomach So Comfortable
For many people, the appeal of sleeping on their side or stomach is because they like the feel of a pillow against their face. If that’s the case for you, then consider getting a smaller, heavier pillow that you can place on your cheek while sleeping on your back. You might also consider having an extra pillow next to your head so you can roll your face into it and create the same sensation.
If you like feeling something on your stomach as you sleep, you might consider hugging pillows to your body. Not only will this add to your comfort, but it will also give you something to do with your arms when you sleep on your back.
Take Drastic Measures
If you try all of these suggestions and still wake up on your side or on your stomach, you may need to take some drastic measures to train yourself to sleep on your back. Remember, to heal properly, it is imperative that you stay on your back for the first 2 weeks after your breast reconstruction.
The drastic measures you might consider include affixing tennis balls to the front of your PJs. If you inadvertently roll over during the night, the balls won’t give, making the sleeping position uncomfortable and forcing you to roll onto your back.
Get Started Soon
After having breast reconstruction surgery, you will need all the rest you can get to help you heal. If you aren’t used to sleeping on your back, you may find that it is challenging and has an impact on how much rest you get. The sooner you can start your training for back sleeping, the better it will be for your recovery time.
You can’t expect that it will only take a few nights of sleeping on your back to get used to the position. As soon as you know that you will be having this surgery, start your training. You may need to use several different methods to be successful, and the sooner you figure out which one works for you, the better. Once you get home after the procedure, if you’ve done your training, you should have no problems with sleeping on your back.
When to Go Back
After the first few weeks, the doctor may clear you to sleep on your side. Eventually, you will be able to sleep in any position you desire. Until that point, make sure you are following your sleep orders and stay on your back.
Prepare for the Day
Not only is it important to get your rest at night, but you’ll need to take it easy throughout the day as well. That’s when having a recliner or wedge pillow can be incredibly beneficial. It will allow you to be upright to watch TV or read, but also give you the support you need. You can also take naps throughout the day, which can aid in your recovery and help you get the rest you need.
Your Doctor Knows Best
Before your breast reconstruction surgery, your doctor will go through all the steps and things you’ll need to do to heal properly. Make sure to follow all of their instructions. This will give you the best chance of healing quickly with reduced discomfort. It also gives you the chance to ask any questions or voice any concerns you might have.
Some of the recommendations your doctor might make include eating healthy foods, liming physical activity, and wearing loose clothing. If they prescribe you any medications, make sure to take them as directed.
Again, the most important thing you’ll need to aid in the healing process is to get a lot of rest. Right after the procedure, you won’t be able to sleep on your side. You may even find that sleeping on your back can be incredibly comfortable and turn into a regular habit.
Feel Like a New You
Having to have this process done can evoke a lot of different emotions. However, if you work with the right doctor and team, you will get through it feeling and looking amazing and healing quickly with little discomfort.
When it comes to finding the right doctor to help with your breast reconstruction needs, the best choice is Dr. Usal in Paramus, NJ. Call today and talk with skilled professionals who will help you before and after the procedure. Don’t trust your reconstruction to anyone but the best.