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How to Sleep After Breast Reduction

how to sleep after breast reduction

Medically reviewed by Mr. Omar Tillo MD, MS, EBOPRAS, FRCS (Plast)

Getting enough rest after a breast reduction is hugely important in supporting the body’s natural healing process.

For this reason, we have compiled a few tips and tricks on how to sleep after breast reduction so that you can rest comfortably. 

Sleeping Position After Breast Surgery

The most optimal position to sleep in after a breast reduction is on your back. This is particularly important in the first few weeks after breast reduction, as sleeping on your stomach or side can put additional pressure on the chest and the incision sites. 

Patients are expected to make a full recovery, with the incision sites completely healed, six weeks after breast reduction. At this point, patients should be able to sleep in their preferred position, though they may find this has changed now that they have a smaller chest. 

Can You Learn to Sleep on Your Back?

In short, yes, it is possible to learn how to sleep on your back. 

However, it may take you some practice to sleep in a new position. For this reason, if you typically sleep on your side or front, you may find it beneficial to try sleeping on your back in the weeks before your breast reduction. 

Tips for Sleeping After Breast Reduction

There are several key tips for sleeping both comfortably and safely after your breast reduction:

Elevate Your Head and Feet

Keeping your head and feet elevated helps to reduce swelling by promoting circulation and preventing fluid buildup around the surgical site and extremities. This can greatly increase your comfort and help promote the body’s natural healing process.

Elevating your head also prevents you from sleeping in other positions, as well as making it easier to get in and out of your bed.

Prevent Other Sleeping Positions

As mentioned above, staying on your back throughout the night can be difficult if you usually sleep on your side or front. By elevating your head and knees with multiple pillows, you can reduce the chance of moving over to your side or front during the night, even unconsciously. 

Other ways to prevent turning over include placing tennis balls in your pockets so that you aren’t able to comfortably move onto your side or front. 

Try a Recliner 

If you are struggling to sleep in bed, you may wish to consider the use of a recliner or zero gravity chair. This will make it easier for you to move from a seated position to lying down and may prevent you from having adequate room to sleep on your side or front.  

Wear a Bra for Support

Finding a comfortable bra to sleep in can help to provide additional support for your breasts and reduce swelling. 

Your surgeon will provide you with a surgical bra which you will need to wear for the first six weeks after your breast reduction. This will help to manage swelling and provide comfort, making it easier for you to get a good night’s sleep. 

Breast Reduction Recovery Timeline

Recovery from a breast reduction may vary depending on a range of factors, including your general health and the amount of excess breast tissue, skin and fat removed. 

As you recover, you may experience side effects such as bruising, tenderness, and swelling around the chest, all of which may cause some disturbances in your sleep schedule.

Most side effects dissipate within a few weeks, and you should be able to return to your usual sleeping position 4-6 weeks after your breast reduction.

Is Breast Reduction Worth It?

Although a breast reduction can cause temporary difficulties for sleeping, many patients consider it a worthwhile endeavour.

A breast reduction has numerous benefits, including promoting comfort and confidence in tight clothing while addressing the functional limitations of larger, drooping breasts. For example, many women find breast reduction helps to improve back pain.

Schedule a Consultation with CREO Clinic Today

If you are looking to undergo a breast reduction, finding the right surgeon is crucial. At the CREO Clinic, our double-board certified surgeon Dr Omar Tillo has a wealth of experience conducting bespoke surgeries suited to his patients’ equally individualised needs.

Contact the CREO Clinic today to book a consultation with Dr Tillo, and start planning your cosmetic surgery journey. 

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