Sleep is essential to a healthy immune system and a speedier recovery. Your body must work hard to heal after surgery, which is why many people feel fatigued in the days following their procedures. However, when we sleep, the body is still and can promote good blood flow to the injured muscles and tissues, delivering oxygen and nutrients. Following are some of the sleeping instructions we provide our patients at our plastic surgery center in Atlanta.
Of course, it is important to be mindful of your sleep position for face surgeries like rhinoplasty and facelift. However, many patients are unaware that non-surgical treatments sometimes require special sleep positions as well.
- Facelift: Sleep with your head elevated for 1 to 2 weeks. This will minimize swelling and help you feel more comfortable returning to work or going out in public sooner.
- Rhinoplasty: Sleep on your back with your head elevated for the first few days. It’s important not to bump or hit your nose against anything in the early stages of recovery.
- Dermal Fillers: Sleep on your back for the first 2 nights after treatment. Lying on your side or stomach before the filler has completely set can leave you with an asymmetrical or flattened appearance.
It is especially important to sleep correctly after breast surgery. The proper position avoids any direct pressure on the breasts but is still comfortable.
- Breast Augmentation and/or Lift: Sleep on your side or back for the first 8 weeks. Sleeping on your stomach can displace your implants and cause excess soreness. To reduce swelling, your upper body should be elevated, especially while you sleep. This helps minimize fluid buildup, enhances circulation, and also keeps the breasts in a more natural position as they heal. Additionally, make sure to wear a supportive bra when you sleep.
The term “body procedures” encompasses several very different surgeries. Tummy tuck, liposuction, and Brazilian butt lift are the 3 most popular body contouring procedures, and they each require different sleeping instructions.
- Tummy Tuck: We recommend sleeping on a reclining chair or on your back propped up with pillows. This slightly flexed position will decrease tension on your incision.
- Brazilian Butt Lift: Sleep on your stomach or side for the first few weeks. Avoid putting pressure on your buttocks.
- Liposuction: This procedure can be performed on a number of different places on your body. Your proper sleeping position will depend on your treatment area.
Tips for Training Yourself on New Sleeping Positions
- Practice sleeping in the correct position before your actual surgery date, so your body will become accustomed to it.
- Use positioning pillows. Extra pillows in bed can help keep you positioned correctly. Many people successfully sleep on their backs by placing a pillow under each arm.
- Sew a tennis ball into the lining of your shirt on whatever side you need to avoid. The pressure of the ball will remind you to return to the correct position.
- Don’t quit. Always roll back to the correct position when you catch yourself sleeping in the wrong position.
If you are interested in one of these procedures and want to learn more about post-op care instructions, request a consultation online or give us a call at (770) 421-1242.