Following breast reconstruction, it will be important that you avoid placing significant weight or pressure on the breasts for two to four weeks. This means no sleeping on your side or stomach. Your progress will be assessed during your postoperative follow-up visits, enabling your plastic surgeon to determine when it best for you to resume sleeping in different positions.
Train Yourself to Sleep on Your Back
Because sleeping on your back will be important for proper healing following breast reconstruction, it is a good idea to begin training yourself in advance of your procedure. If you tend to prefer side or belly sleeping, consider looking into a new mattress and pillow combination. These things work together to provide comfort while sleeping. You may need to try a few combinations to get the right feel.
Placing a pillow underneath your knees and/or low back can help you maintain the appropriate sleeping position as well, as can creating physical barriers that prevent you from rolling over. Training yourself to sleep like this will not only help guard against complications following breast reduction surgery, it can help keep your spine aligned and reduce spinal pressure and compression, which may even assist with conditions like TMJ and chronic headaches.
Am I a Good Breast Reconstruction Candidate?
Breast reconstruction is designed to restore symmetry and balance following mastectomy or lumpectomy. The best candidates are women who do not smoke and who are ready for a surgical procedure and recovery period. In some cases, reconstruction can be done in combination with tumor removal to reduce both surgical time and trauma. This option can be discussed in greater detail during your initial consultation.
It is important that women who undergo breast reconstruction be willing to follow all of the pre and postoperative instructions provided by our office. These will include ways to reduce surgical risks and ways, like sleeping on your back, to prevent postsurgical complications. Making sure to follow these directions can help improve your experience and assist in producing the most pleasing results.