How Long to Sleep Elevated After Breast Augmentation: Dos and Don’ts

woman in white spaghetti strap top. breast augmentation

How Long to Sleep Elevated After Breast Augmentation?

How long to sleep elevated after breast augmentation is a common question I get. The answer, of course, is that it depends on the individual.

There are many factors that contribute to how quickly someone heals and how their body responds to surgery. That being said, there are some general guidelines that can be followed.

In this blog post, I will share my friends experience with sleeping elevated after breast augmentation surgery as well as what I recommend.

What are the benefits of sleeping elevated after breast augmentation?

1. Improved Blood Circulation and Healing

Sleeping elevated after breast augmentation has many benefits, including improved blood circulation and healing. By sleeping with your upper body elevated, you can reduce swelling and discomfort, which are common post-operative side effects.

When your upper body is elevated, blood flow is improved, which helps to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the affected area, promoting faster healing.

woman in white spaghetti strap top holding her hair

Sleeping elevated can help to prevent fluid accumulation, which can lead to complications and delay the healing process. It’s important to follow post-operative instructions and sleep in the recommended position for optimal results.

Overall, sleeping elevated after breast augmentation is a simple but effective way to support your body’s healing process and improve your recovery.

2. Less Swelling and Soreness

Sleeping elevated after breast augmentation can help reduce swelling and soreness. It is recommended to sleep at a 30-45 degree angle for a total of 6 weeks. This can be achieved by using extra pillows or a foam wedge to elevate your body into a more upright position while sleeping on your back.

A pillow under each arm can prevent you from rolling over while sleeping, and an additional pillow under your knees can take pressure off your lower back and prevent sliding down in the bed.

It is important to wear the compression garment recommended by your doctor and avoid sleep inhibitors like caffeine and alcohol. Light walking during the day can also help prevent post-surgery complications like blood clots.

3. Less Discomfort and Pain

Sleeping elevated after breast augmentation can help reduce discomfort and pain. It is a simple yet effective way to aid in the healing process.

Changing your sleep position can also help relieve back pain. Incorporating stretching or yoga into your pre-bed routine can help loosen tight hips and hamstrings, which are a common culprit behind back pain. Placing a stack of pillows under your slightly bent knees can also help relieve the strain on your back.

Elevating your head can also help reduce heartburn and indigestion. Swiveling your hips slightly to the left can help lessen any heartburn you do have – especially helpful after gastric sleeve surgery. Additionally, sleeping elevated can help reduce the risk of capsular contracture, a complication that can occur after breast augmentation surgery.

4. Improved Sleep Quality

Sleeping elevated can be an effective way to improve sleep quality after breast augmentation. When you sleep with your upper body elevated, it helps to reduce swelling and inflammation in the breast area, which can be common after surgery. This can alleviate discomfort and pain, allowing you to sleep more comfortably. Elevating your upper body can also help to promote better blood circulation, which is important for healing and recovery.

In addition to sleeping elevated, it’s also important to practice good sleep hygiene after breast augmentation. This includes avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bedtime, creating a relaxing sleep environment, and sticking to a consistent sleep schedule.

5. Reduced Risk of Infection

When a person sleeps inclined at a 30-45 degrees angle, it helps to improve blood flow and lymphatic drainage in the surgical area, which can help to reduce swelling and inflammation. This position can also help to prevent blood clots and other life-threatening issues.

6. Improved Recovery Time

Sleeping elevated after breast augmentation can improve recovery time in several ways. Elevating your upper body at a 30-45 degree angle helps to reduce swelling and discomfort by promoting better blood flow and preventing fluid accumulation. This position also helps to prevent pressure on the breasts, which can be especially important in the first few weeks after surgery.

According to research, sleeping elevated can also improve breathing and reduce the risk of complications such as sleep apnea. In addition, it can help to improve overall sleep quality, which is essential for the body’s healing and recovery processes.

How long should you sleep elevated after breast augmentation?

After breast augmentation surgery, it is essential to sleep in an elevated position to reduce swelling and promote healing. Plastic surgeons recommend sleeping on your back with your upper body elevated at a 30-45 degree angle for 4-6 weeks.

This position helps to take pressure off the incision areas and implants, preventing complications such as capsular contracture. Sleeping on your back with your upper body elevated also allows your tummy to hang in a more natural way, reducing the risk of them falling out to the sides or in one direction.

What are the do’s and don’ts of sleeping elevated after breast augmentation?

Follow your surgeon’s instructionsAvoid heavy lifting and strenuous activities
Take prescribed medications and antibiotics as directedDo not smoke or use tobacco products
Wear a supportive surgical bra as recommendedDo not submerge the incisions in water (e.g., swimming, hot tubs) until cleared by your surgeon
Keep the incision areas clean and dryAvoid sleeping on your stomach or side until advised by your surgeon
Take adequate rest and allow your body to healDo not apply direct pressure or weight on the surgical area (e.g., using a weighted blanket)
Apply ice packs or use cold compresses as advised to reduce swellingAvoid excessive stretching or reaching for objects
Gradually resume light activities and gentle exercises as recommendedDo not skip follow-up appointments with your surgeon
Stay hydrated and eat a balanced diet to support healingAvoid wearing underwire bras until approved by your surgeon
Report any unusual or concerning symptoms to your surgeonDo not disregard any postoperative restrictions or advice
do’s and don’ts after breast augmentation surgery

1. Do sleep on your back or side

After breast augmentation surgery, it is important to sleep on your back for at least 2-3 weeks to prevent complications and promote proper healing. Sleeping on your back prevents fluid accumulation and allows for proper blood circulation, leading to faster recovery and better results. It also helps to maintain proper alignment of your back and prevent neck pain.

2. Do use a pillow to elevate the head

Elevating your head with a pillow after breast augmentation surgery is crucial for your recovery. It helps reduce swelling and inflammation, keeps your breasts in a natural position, and increases blood flow to the tissues. A wedge pillow is recommended as it provides a clear incline for your upper body and is easier to arrange before sleep.

Place a pillow under each arm to prevent rolling, and one under your knees to maintain spinal alignment. Use a dedicated neck pillow to prevent stiffness and cramping in your neck and shoulders. Remember to wear the compression garment recommended by your doctor and avoid sleep inhibitors like caffeine and alcohol.

3. Do keep a regular sleep schedule

Keeping a regular sleep schedule according to your own chronotype can aid in sleeping elevated after breast augmentation. It is important to plan to go to bed and get up at around the same time every day, including weekends. Ensure that

  • your bedroom is dark, quiet, relaxing, and at a comfortable temperature.
  • Stop using electronic devices such as computers, tablets, mobile phones, and TVs at least 2 hours before bedtime.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol and caffeine later in the day.
  • Taking short walks during the day can help you get to sleep at night.
  • wind down before bed and avoid screens to prepare your mind and body for sleep.

By following these tips, you can improve your sleep habits and have a better night’s sleep after breast augmentation.

4. Don’t sleep flat on the stomach

After breast augmentation surgery, it is advisable not to sleep flat on the stomach. This is because sleeping on the stomach can put pressure on the breasts, causing them to feel uncomfortable and painful during the recovery period. It can also disturb the position of the implants and prevent them from settling correctly, leading to complications such as implant leakage or rupture.

5. Don’t use pillows that are too high or too low

Using pillows that are too high or too low is not recommended when sleeping elevated after breast augmentation. If the pillows are too high, it can create tension in the neck, shoulders, and back, leading to discomfort and pain. On the other hand, if the pillows are too low, it can cause the blood to pool in the breasts, increasing swelling and bruising.

Therefore, finding the right height and firmness of the pillows is crucial for a comfortable and safe recovery.


Are there any risks associated with sleeping elevated after breast augmentation?

While sleeping elevated after breast augmentation does not carry significant risks, patients should follow their plastic surgeon’s specific instructions for their unique situation.

Sleeping in an elevated position after breast augmentation is recommended to reduce inflammation and pain, as well as prevent complications like capsular contracture. Patients should take precautions to avoid unnecessary pressure on the area, such as placing a soft pillow under the breasts and wearing an approved surgical bra.

How can I maximize my breast augmentation recovery?

To maximize your breast augmentation recovery, there are several steps you should take.

  • First, make sure you are getting enough sleep. This means continuing to have a good night’s sleep and wearing a supportive bra when you sleep. Also, take a warm shower in the evening to relax and get to sleep faster.
  • Second, walk around regularly throughout the day to improve circulation and reduce the risk of developing blood clots.
  • Third, avoid known sleep disruptors like caffeine, alcohol, sugar, and electronic screens.
  • Fourth, prepare for your recovery period ahead of time by scheduling time off work, coordinating help with children and household chores, preparing healthy foods and snacks, adjusting your medications as needed, stopping smoking, taking recommended supplements as directed, picking up your prescriptions, and preparing a comfortable resting and sleeping area.
  • Finally, be sure to follow your post-op guidelines closely to avoid complications and delays in healing. By following these steps, you can set yourself up for the best breast augmentation recovery possible.

Is it safe to sleep on my side or stomach after breast augmentation?

It is not safe to sleep on your side or stomach after undergoing breast augmentation surgery. The best position for safe sleeping is on your back with your upper body slightly elevated. Sleeping in a recliner or with pillows propping up your head and torso can reduce swelling and soreness, and make it easier to get up without using your upper body muscles.

Sleeping flat on your back is an option if you find it difficult to sleep with your upper body elevated. The second-best position for sleeping after surgery is on your side, but it’s important to use a pillow under your breasts to avoid placing unnecessary pressure on them and wear an approved surgical bra to keep your implants and incisions in place.

It’s important to note that sleeping on your side or stomach can cause implant displacement, which may require additional surgery to correct.

Is it necessary to wear a compression garment after breast augmentation?

Yes, it is necessary to wear a compression garment after breast augmentation surgery. The compression garment helps to reduce swelling and bruising, and it also helps to keep the implants in place. Patients who wear their compression garments as directed consistently achieve optimal results after breast augmentation surgery.

It is important to follow your surgeon’s instructions closely and wear the compression garment 24/7 for at least two to four weeks after the procedure. After several weeks, with your surgeon’s approval, you may be able to limit the amount of time you wear the compression garment to daytime only.

Can i use a weighted blanket after breast augmentation?

It is generally not recommended to use a weighted blanket immediately after breast augmentation surgery. Weighted blankets are designed to provide deep pressure stimulation, which can be comforting and promote relaxation.

However, after breast augmentation, it’s important to avoid putting excessive pressure or weight on the surgical area to allow for proper healing. During the initial recovery period, the breasts are typically sensitive, swollen, and healing from the surgical procedure. Placing a weighted blanket or compression bra directly on the chest could potentially cause discomfort, increase swelling, or disrupt the healing process.

Typically, surgeons advise avoiding heavy lifting, strenuous activities, and anything that puts direct pressure on the surgical area for several weeks after breast augmentation.

When can i sleep flat after breast augmentation ?

Typically, sleeping flat on your back is recommended for the first few weeks after surgery to avoid putting pressure on the breasts and to promote proper healing.

The timing for when you can sleep flat after breast augmentation surgery can vary depending on your individual healing process and the specific instructions provided by your surgeon. It is crucial to follow your surgeon’s guidance, as they are the best resource to provide you with personalized advice based on your unique situation.

When can i sleep on my side after breast augmentation?

In general, most surgeons recommend avoiding sleeping on your side for the first few weeks after breast augmentation surgery. This is because the breast implants need time to settle into their desired position, and sleeping on your side could potentially put pressure on the breasts and affect their shape and symmetry – well it even can effect the shape of your face!

Your surgeon will monitor your progress during follow-up appointments and provide guidance on when it is safe to transition to sleeping on your side. They may advise you to gradually introduce side sleeping once the initial healing phase is complete, usually after a few weeks.


By lezt

Lez Taylor, Founder and CEO of Corala Blanket. She tried every sleep system and trick to conquer her insomnia for good.