When patients ask about the recovery following a breast lift at our Charleston, South Carolina, practice, we hear frequent questions about sleep positions. Healing after cosmetic surgery of any type requires plenty of rest, yet breast surgery patients typically must sleep in unfamiliar positions. This can be a challenge, but following the advice included in this blog post can help.
What Happens During a Breast Lift?
Before discussing the best way to sleep after a breast lift, it’s helpful to understand what happens during the surgery. Women choose to get breast lifts when their breasts sag, either after having children or because the skin has lost elasticity with age.
A breast lift creates perkier, more youthful-looking breasts by removing excess skin and reshaping breast tissue. In some cases, patients choose to combine their lift with breast augmentation to restore lost volume. That won’t change how a patient sleeps after the procedure.
Tips for Sleeping After a Breast Lift
Follow this advice to get enough rest after a breast lift:
Start in a Recliner
Whether you typically sleep on your side or your back, spending a few nights in a recliner before your surgery can help prepare you for the first few nights after getting a breast lift. If you don’t have a recliner, prop yourself up with pillows. Sleeping with your torso elevated helps minimize fluid buildup and swelling during the first couple of weeks after the operation. Sleeping with your upper body elevated also makes it easier to get up and helps lower the risk of other complications.
Transition to Sleeping on Your Back
After a couple of weeks, you can sleep on your back in bed. You should still avoid sleeping on your side or stomach because those positions create too much pressure on the chest. If you’re not getting enough sleep on your back, sleeping on your side with support is a possible trade-off so that you get enough rest. You can also use pillows or rolled-up towels as added support to prevent shifting or rolling over during the night.
When Can You Sleep Without a Bra?
Wearing a medical support bra, sometimes called a compression garment, after cosmetic breast surgery is essential for the first couple of weeks of recovery. Gentle pressure from a surgical bra reduces tension on incisions and helps the breasts heal without being inadvertently disrupted. If a patient does combine breast implants with a breast lift, they will need to wear the compressive bra for up to 6 weeks to minimize swelling and maintain comfort and support. You can contact our practice if you have questions about if it’s okay to sleep without the support bra.
Getting quality sleep enhances the healing process. We encourage patients to avoid behaviors that make it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep. Good bedtime habits include limiting screen time at night and avoiding sugar, caffeine, and alcohol. Herbal tea or a warm glass of milk can help you fall asleep.
If you want to learn more about the benefits of breast surgery at our Charleston practice, use the online form to request a consultation with one of our plastic surgeons or call us at (843) 722-5904 to schedule an appointment.