Breast Augmentation Surgery: The Critical Role of Sleep

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It’s important to treat your body well after any surgery. Aftercare instructions often focus on restricting movement, but healthy sleep habits are important too. Breast augmentation, in particular, can make getting a good night’s sleep tricky, especially if you’re used to sleeping on your side or belly.

Here, we’ll discuss what you need to know to get a comfortable sleep post-breast augmentation surgery.

Why good sleep is important after breast augmentation surgery

Quality sleep is important after breast augmentation surgery. Your body needs rest to heal. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, sleep plays a critical role in the recovery process.

Good sleep improves healing in several ways:

  • Reduces pain. Research shows that people who don’t get enough sleep also tend to experience more pain. Getting good sleep after breast augmentation surgery could mean less pain the next day.
  • Helps prevent infection. Your body is more susceptible to infection immediately after a major surgery. Getting quality sleep supports your immune system.
  • Speeds up healing. A 2021 review of sleep research found that getting quality sleep after an operation can reduce the number of sick days a person uses during recovery.
  • Makes recovery feel more manageable. It’s no secret that sleep is crucial for mood regulation. Any major surgery, including breast augmentation, can trigger stress, anxiety, and even sadness over the way your daily routines must change during the recovery period. Getting enough sleep can help you feel mentally and emotionally strong enough to make it through.

Best position to sleep in after breast augmentation surgery

“The best position to sleep after a breast augmentation is on your back, with [your] upper body elevated,” says Himansu Shah, MD, fellow of the American College of Surgeons and plastic surgeon at Signature Plastic Surgery and Dermatology in Nev. “This helps minimize swelling, enhances blood supply, and keeps breasts in a natural position.”

It’s important to avoid sleeping in any position that puts pressure on the incision site or squishes your breasts into an unnatural position. That means avoiding lying on your belly, side, or even flat on your back immediately after surgery.

Bottom line: Sleeping propped up and wearing a support bra in the weeks after breast augmentation surgery helps keep your breasts held in place, which helps prevent painful movement while also promoting healing circulation.

Additional tips for sleeping comfortably after breast augmentation surgery

While you may experience discomfort at the surgery site, it’s possible to sleep comfortably after a breast procedure. Shah offers a few suggestions to help you fall and stay asleep:

  • Wear a supportive bra when sleeping. This will keep your breasts from moving, reduce tension on incisions, decrease swelling, and improve overall recovery.
  • Take a warm shower in the evening. “This is a well-known technique for relaxation and getting to sleep faster,” Shah says.
  • Walk regularly during the day. Walking benefits sleep even if you’re not recovering from surgery. But Shah says a five-minute walk every hour during the day also reduces the risk of blood clots after breast augmentation. That should help you rest easy!

FAQs

When can I sleep on my side after breast augmentation surgery?

According to Shah, it’s best to wait at least seven to 14 days after surgery before sleeping on your side. “You don’t want to have added pressure on your implants or incision by lying on your side or stomach,” he says.

When can I stop sleeping elevated after breast augmentation surgery?

Shah recommends sleeping in an elevated position for at least seven to 10 days after breast augmentation surgery. However, some medical professionals, such as the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons, suggest staying slightly elevated for up to six weeks post-surgery.

When can I sleep flat on my back after breast augmentation therapy?

“It is best to wait until seven to 10 days post-breast augmentation procedure to sleep flat on your back,” says Shah. Because everyone’s surgery recovery differs, you should follow your surgeon’s recommendations regarding how many weeks you should stay elevated during sleep.

When can I sleep without a bra after breast augmentation surgery?

Your surgeon should give you personalized instructions on how long to wear a compression bra or supportive garment after breast augmentation surgery. Many plastic surgeons recommend wearing a supportive bra for about four to six weeks after surgery.

This article originally appeared on Saatva and was syndicated by MediaFeed.

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