Member Blog: How to Sleep better after Breast Augmentation Surgery
A Breast Augmentation or Boob Job is one of the most popular aesthetic surgeries. It’s a great way to feel more confident about your body image and can improve your quality of life. However, the recovery process after breast augmentation surgery can take a number of weeks and needs lots of rest. This blog is about how to sleep better after a breast augmentation and can help you get the best recovery and best results after surgery.
What to Expect during Recovery from Breast Augmentation?
A breast augmentation surgery is usually an inpatient procedure done under general anesthesia. Most breast augmentation patients are kept overnight in hospital for observation. You can expect to be discharged by your care team the following morning. It is also possible to have the surgery as a day stay, however this is patient dependent.
During your first week or so, soreness, swelling, and bruising are expected. You will notice your surgical incisional scar beneath the crease of your breast. The soreness, swelling, and bruising should be completely gone in a month or so following your surgery, and your incisional scar should become unnoticeable over time. It is crucial during your recovery period to follow your plastic surgeon’s instructions: from wearing a supportive bra to how to sleep throughout the night.
Why Is Sleep Important During Recovery from Breast Augmentation?
Getting enough sleep is vital in the process of recovery after breast augmentation, or any surgery for that matter. As you close your eyes and slip into bed, you may feel that your body is shutting down, while in fact, sleep is the time when your body is at its busiest repairing and rejuvenating.
Being able to sleep well allows your brain to attend to areas in your body that require healing, this includes the incisional sites. Your brain will trigger certain hormones that promote tissue growth and repair of blood vessels. This allows the restoration of sore or damaged muscles and helps you heal faster after your breast enhancement. Sleep can also help boost your immunity, reducing chances of possible infections.
Getting enough sleep help your body to release hormones that will slow down your breathing and help relax your sore muscles. This may reduce the swelling in your breast tissue, and help you recover faster after your surgery.
How to Sleep Comfortably After Breast Augmentation?
Like any other surgery, breast augmentation is a progressive journey. You should commit to certain steps and follow tips to ensure you get the best results. As mentioned above, sleeping is essential to the recovery process of breast augmentation, but getting your standard 8 hours of sleep isn’t enough. Here are some dos and don’ts to sleep comfortably after a breast augmentation surgery without any concerns.
1. PREPARING EARLY
If you’re one of those tummy or side sleepers, you should start preparing early to ensure a seamless transition to sleeping on your back after breast surgery. This change in sleeping position can be difficult, so you must persist. You can use extra pillows and place them under each arm, many people reported being more successful to sleep on their back after surgery.
2. SLEEPING ON YOUR BACK – ELEVATED!
In the first six weeks after breast augmentation, it is vital that you sleep on your back for a safe and speedy recovery. This will put your new breasts in a relaxed position, with minimal strain on your chest, allowing the incisions from your breast augmentation to heal and the implants to settle. However, just sleeping flat on your back isn’t the best sleeping position after breast surgery. Keep your upper body elevated at a 30 to 45 degrees angle while on your back further to reduce any swelling and pain after your boob job. This allows your blood to circulate away from your tender new breasts. To sleep better after breast augmentation, consider investing in a few soft pillows to prop under your back, or get a recliner bed if possible.
3. SLEEPING ON YOUR SIDE
Not all patients can commit to sleeping on their back after a breast surgery for long periods of time. After 2-3 weeks of your breast enlargement surgery, you may be allowed to sleep on your side. However, it’s important to take extra precautions if you decide to do so. This includes wearing an approved surgical bra and placing pillows underneath your breasts. This way, you can avoid unnecessary pressure on your breast and help keep your implants and incisions in place while still managing to sleep comfortably.
4. SLEEPING ON YOUR FRONT
Some people prefer to sleep on their front; however, it’s absolutely not recommended after breast augmentation surgery. Sleeping on your tummy adds pressure on your new breasts, possibly causing damage to your results. Always wait for approval from your plastic surgeon before deciding to switch positions to sleep better. You can usually be allowed to sleep on your belly approximately 12 weeks after your boob job.
Tips to Sleep Well After Breast Augmentation
Besides correct sleep positioning, here are some other useful tips that can help you sleep well after a boob job:
- Walking: Although you may be fatigued after your breast augmentation surgery, moving around is important from day 1. Lightly walking about your house can improve your sleeping pattern and help you sleep better. It also reduces the risk of blood clots by boosting your blood circulation. Just don’t over do it.
- Support Bras: After your breast augmentation surgery, your plastic surgeon will instruct you to wear a support bra for at least a month, even at night. Support bras help hold your newly enlarged breasts in place, ease tension on your surgical incisions, and reduce swelling. This can ease any worries you might have of ruining your boob job while asleep.
- Warm Showers: Everyone likes a nice warm soak after a long day, and while warm baths should be avoided in the first weeks following your surgery, warm evening showers can help prepare for sleep. They can help decompress and relax your muscles allowing you to sleep comfortably. Make sure you ask your surgeon when you can shower.
- Sleep Disruptors: Avoiding sleep disruptors like caffeinated beverages (coffee, coke, tea…), alcohol, sugar, and electronic screens especially in the evenings can help you to get enough sleep, instead of being left wide awake throughout the night.
- Medication: You should never be expected to endure unnecessary pain post-op, this rule applies to breast surgery as well. Your plastic surgeon will prescribe pain medication to provide symptomatic relief and help you sleep better. A sleeping aid is rarely needed but may be prescribed if your sleeping pattern is severely disrupted after your breast enlargement surgery.
Your Specialist Plastic Surgeon and their team can help you through your entire plastic surgery journey so please reach out to them if you have any questions or concerns.
Written by Dr Craig Rubinstein – MBBS, FRACS (Plast)