How Long Do I Have to Sleep on my Back After Breast Augmentation?

I had breast augmentation on February 9th 2012 400CC / silicone / under the muscle / incision around areola. No problems at all, no pain and i feel great! I normally sleep on my side so, it has been hard to stay sleeping the whole night on my back. When is it safe to start sleeping on my side or on my stomach? I worry that if i try sleeping on my side or stomach I might wake up with the implants towards one side, capsulated, deform or even pop it. Could it be painful if i try another position?

Doctor Answers 83

Sleeping after a breast augmentation

I tell my patients to sleep on their back for at least 6 weeks after a breast augmentation to prevent deformation of the implant and the scar capsule that is forming around the implant during that time. I tell my patients not to sleep on their stomach ever because I believe that position leads to drooping appearance of the breast. Also most women tell me it is a bit uncomfortable to sleep prone after a breast augmentation anyway.

The other reason to sleep on your back is that you will get fewer wrinkles on your face.  Lay on your side with and hand held mirror and look at your face when you are lying on your side and you will see more wrinkles than you want.  Also sleeping on your side tend to increase the wrinkling of the skin of your chest.

Thank you for your question and good luck.

Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Sleeping after breast augmentation

Studies have shown that sleeping positions can affect the shape of your breasts, whether you have implants or not.  Typically, this is present with side sleeping and with how your arm on the 'down' side typically cups the breast.  

Nevertheless, studies have also shown the dangers of not sleeping.  Because of this, I typically recommend to patients that they sleep on their back ideally, ... but, I allow patients to sleep on their side if they cannot sleep on their back.  I recommend a pillow to help make sure the patient does not turn onto their stomach and I also recommend switching sides if possible.  Stomach sleeping is definitely not recommended.  It can negatively affect breast shape, facial aging, and can also put the neck in poor positions and cause serious cervical issues.  

Justin M. Jones, MD
Oklahoma City Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Sleep on side or back

I generally recommend that patients sleep on their side or back initially, while wearing a good bra that provides support. This should be done throughout the first eight weeks of your recovery. Doing so prevents the implants from being displaced by falling to the sides or "bottoming out". However, it's best to follow your surgeon's instructions.

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 179 reviews

Sleeping After A Breast Augmentation

As I answer this, you are 5 weeks after surgery. I prefer that my patients sleep on their backs for the first 3-4 weeks. I then allow them to sleep on their sides as comfort allows. They then progress to sleeping on their abdomens from there as comfort allows as well. Be sure to discuss this with your surgeon as they may proceed at a different pace. Good luck.


Douglas L. Gervais, MD
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 176 reviews

How Long Do I Have to Sleep on my Back After Breast Augmentation?

3 weeks on your back after breast augmentation surgery is fine and the norm. After 3 weeks, most patients do well laying on their side and using pillows for comfort. Sleeping on your side before 3 weeks is usually pretty uncomfortable and could cause shifting of the implant before it heals correctly. 

Stanley Castor, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 119 reviews

Sleeping position after breast augmentation

Sleeping in a position that you would not naturally sleep in is difficult. After breast augmentation the breast implant becomes surrounded by a capsule (or scar tissue) and during the first 4-6 weeks the position of this capsule can be influenced by outside forces such as activity, sleeping position, and brassieres. Plastic surgeons try to give advice to their patients for best results. I suggest to my patients that they sleep on their backs for 6 weeks. Sleeping on your back keeps you from placing asymmetrical forces on your healing tissues during the crucial healing period. 

Rachel Streu, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Sleeping on your back after breast augmentation

Most plastic surgeons recommend sleeping on your back for at least a few weeks after breast augmentation to prevent changes to formation of the capsule. By 3-4 weeks the capsule is well-formed and unlikely to change based on sleep position. However, I would ask your specific plastic surgeon what his/her preference is, as it is always best to follow the advice of the surgeon that did your procedure.

I hope this helps!

Bryan Correa, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Build a nest for your new chest!

Generally, unless otherwise directed, sleeping on your implants with direct pressure on the breast and implant should be avoided for approximately 6 weeks. I am ok with side sleeping and even sleeping on your stomach.  On your stomach, you can build a nest for your new chest and keep pressure off the implants and should be fine :) 

Matthew H. Conrad, MD
Wichita Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews


Sleeping on your back is recommended for the first few weeks of surgery to minimise any potential wound healing problems or implant displacement concerns.

Also, sleeping is generally more comfortable on your back, although propping yourself up on a few pillows or sleeping in a recliner chair for the first few days is what many people find the most comfortable. Assistance getting up and down is often required for these first few days.

By the 3rd week a reasonable scar capsule is starting to form around the implant, and by 6 weeks it is very well formed and therefore the implant position is "secured". 

So ideally you should sleep on your back for the first 6 weeks. Unfortunately this is not practical and I don't want my patients worrying because they woke up and found themselves sleeping on their stomach. Therefore, beyond the first few weeks I don't recommend any particular sleep position. Ultimately you move around in your sleep so no matter what position you go to sleep in, you'll move whilst asleep and your subconscious/sleep state will always adjust itself to a comfortable position.

Eddy Dona, MBBS, FRACS
Sydney Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Sleep positions post-op

Disclaimer: Every surgeon has different instructions, or preferences, regarding post-operative care. You should listen to your own surgeon.

These are my post-op instructions:

Patients after breast augmentation surgery should avoid sleeping on their stomach. You should sleep on your back with your head slightly elevated. This sleeping position can help you reduce swelling.

For the first week,you may find it difficult to sleep on your side. And it is very unlikely that you can sleep in your stomach because it will cause discomfort.

After the first week, if you can’t fall asleep on your back and feel comfortable sleeping on your side, then you can give that a try.

I hope that answers your question on sleeping after surgery. It’s great that you’re doing this research. I always say that the best patients are informed patients.

Thank you for reading and best of luck on your journey!

William Rahal, MD
Beverly Hills Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

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.