Sleeping with Tissue Expanders

After a mastectomy, many women need to have tissue expanders placed to gradually create a breast pocket that can accommodate an implant. Tissue expanders can be placed during your mastectomy or years after your surgery. If you have expanders placed, you will need to adjust your sleeping position temporarily to increase your comfort and ensure optimal results.

The Best Sleeping Positions if You Have Tissue Expanders

Our board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeons will gradually fill your expanders with saline until enough space is created for your desired implant size. During this process, you may need to adjust your sleeping position.

During the first two weeks after your expander placement, you should sleep on your back. We recommend that women who want to sleep in bed place pillows under their head and knees to support their body. However, many women find that it is more comfortable to sleep in a recliner chair for a while. Recliners tend to provide more upper body support, and it is more convenient to get up from a seated position.

After two weeks, you can continue sleeping on your back or begin sleeping on your side. Some women find that cradling a pillow makes side-sleeping more comfortable. Avoid sleeping on your stomach during the first four weeks.

You can begin sleeping on your stomach, or in whatever position you find most comfortable, after four weeks. Remember to listen to your body during this time. If you try sleeping in a new position and it doesn’t feel quite right, give your body a bit more time to heal and adjust before trying it again.

Are Tissue Expanders Uncomfortable?

Some discomfort is natural during the process of placing and filling tissue expanders. However, at The Breast Center Park Meadows Cosmetic Surgery we do everything that we can to make this process easier for you.

One way that we make tissue expanders more comfortable is by using a product called AlloDerm® Tissue Matrix. AlloDerm acts like a hammock beneath the expander. This innovative, body-safe product covers the lower portion of the expander to help speed up the healing process. It can also help to create a more natural looking breast pocket.

Managing Tissue Expander Discomfort at Home

Breast reconstruction support group facebook We want you to tell us about any discomfort you feel so that we can offer solutions that are appropriate for you. We will give you a prescription for medicine to help you feel more comfortable after your surgery, and we may be able to prescribe something later in the expansion process.

Women with tissue expanders sometimes find that the following things are soothing:

  • Icing the area for a short time if approved by your surgeon
  • Listening to music or watching your favorite show to take your mind off the sensation
  • Performing some gentle exercises under the guidance of a physical therapist
  • Talking to your surgeon about lowering the amount of saline that is injected per visit

Contact Our Lone Tree Breast Reconstruction Surgeons

Our compassionate breast reconstruction surgeons will happily answer any additional questions that you have about tissue expanders. Call us today at ( 303) -706-1100 to arrange your consultation. We proudly welcome women from Denver, Lone Tree, and throughout Colorado.

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