When can I sleep on my side after breast augmentation? (Photo)

This whole back situation is a killer, I'm 7 days post op

Doctor Answers 14

Generally okay after 1 week but talk with your plastic surgeon to be sure.

This is a very common question women have after breast augmentation surgery because many people in general find it uncomfortable to sleep on their back. After a breast augmentation, I generally advise women to sleep on their backs for at least 1 week, sometimes longer, after surgery. However, without knowing the specifics of your procedure, it’s difficult to say how long you should avoid side or stomach sleeping. In the week following breast augmentation surgery, the biggest concern is proper healing of the incisions and unfortunately, sleeping on the side or stomach can compromise the integrity of the incisions. Again, side-sleeping 1 week post-op is not a problem, generally speaking. However, your plastic surgeon is best qualified to determine when sleeping on your side doesn’t pose any likely complications for you, so follow his or her instructions. 

Sleeping after breast augmentation

Hi Brookeanncarp

Sorry my answer is so late (I'm working out now 24 days post op).

Irrespective, if you are wearing good post operative bra, you can sleep which ever way you like. Sleeping upright helps the swelling go away faster, but does not change your end result.

Dr Gavin Sandercoe


I would ask you PS regarding the positioning as each surgeon has different regimes. It is safest to sleep on your back for 6 weeks although if you have round implants in my practice and provided you were in a well supported bra you could sleep on your side after 2 weeks - ask your PS though.

Gary L. Ross, MBChB, FRCS
Manchester Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 138 reviews

Sleeping after Breast Augmentation

It is best to sleep on your back for 6 full weeks after a breast augmentation. Anything prior to the 6 weeks period poses risk of incision opening up.

Leo Lapuerta, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

When can I sleep on my side after breast augmentation?

You;re very early in the healing process. Each surgeon has their own post operative recommendations that differ. I recommend patient sleep on their back for 4-6 weeks. Please ask your chosen surgeon. 


Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 415 reviews

Sleep positioning after breast augmentation

Following a breast augmentation, it will take several weeks for a capsule to form around the implants, which will help to hold them in the correct location.  In addition, it will take approximately two weeks for an incision to heal and people will experience varying degrees of discomfort related to incision placement, size of implant, and position of implant related to muscle.

Surgeons typically have a preferred method of recovery for their patients with respect to postoperative garments, sleep position, exercise, and wound care.  I would speak to your surgeon to find out what your personal instructions are.

I ask my patients to wear a supportive bra, even while sleeping for about six weeks, however I let them sleep in any position that is comfortable for them.

Kirsty Boyd, MD, FRCSC
Ottawa Plastic Surgeon

When can I sleep on my side after breast augmentation?

Thanks for your question. I typically recommend sleeping on your back for the first 2 weeks to 3 weeks after surgery. I think putting a pillow under your knees can be helpful in alleviating back discomfort.  After 3 weeks it is usually fine to sleep on your side if you are wearing a well-supported sports bra.  Each plastic surgeon is somewhat different in this area, so it is important to check with your plastic surgeon.  Good luck!

Post op instructions

Thank you for your question.  It is always bets to first consult with your operating surgeon in regards to your personal post operative recovery experience and instructions.  That being said, in our practice we advise patients to avoid side or belly sleeping for a minimum of 3 weeks.  We also advise our patients that while sleeping on their backs they should be proppe up on several pillows sleeping on an incliune to reduce swelling.

With kind regards,
Lane F. Smith, M.D., F.A.A.C.S., F.A.O.H.N.S., F.A.B.F.P.R.S.
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon

Lane Smith, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 84 reviews

Sleeping position after breast augmentation

There is a lot of variation in recommendations for what position you should sleep when it comes to breast augmentation. What that probably means is that no one knows the right answer and it's based upon individual surgeons preference and experience.  I generally recommend to my patients that they sleep on their back with a few pillows to help prop them up to help improve swelling after surgery.

Nikesh K. Patel, MD
Freehold Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Sleeping Position Post Op


I recommend that you talk with your Plastic Surgeon about safe, comfortable options for you. I allow my patients to sleep on their back or side for the first couple weeks. Raising the head of bed- propping up the head and shoulders a little can be helpful to reduce swelling and make mobility easier but not everyone finds that comfortable.

All the best

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.