How long after a facelift, browlift and fat transfers can I return to sleeping on my side rather than my back?

I do not want to jeopardise my final results however it is now 18 days since my surgery and I am only getting 5 or less hours of sleep a night.

Doctor Answers 16

How can your sleep position enhance facelift results?

Thanks for your question.  It is best to sleep on your back for at least a month following a facelift, however, if you can continue this sleep position, many feel that it can help you to age less quickly than if you sleep on your side.  But, for sure, follow your surgeon's instructions.  Each surgeon has their own protocol and it is best to check with him or her to compliment the procedure that they have performed.  Best of luck.

Sleeping position after Facelift

Hello and thank you for your question! It is best to follow your doctor's instructions. I normally recommend my patients to sleep on their back for around 2-4 weeks. Once you are able to sleep on your side, you will experience a lot of swelling on one side than the other. This will not permanent and will fade with time, but for now, try to sleep on your back for another week. I wish you the best of luck!

Peter Newen, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Sleeping positions after facelift surgery

I usually suggest that my patients an sleep on their sides after 7-10 days after surgery. The first week is important to avoid that position as you will wake up with more swelling on that side. I usually suggest my patients to sleep in a recliner for the first week to avoid the side position, then after that they can sleep on their sides. 

Dilip D. Madnani, MD, FACS
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

My recomendation

Many physicians, dermatologists and plastic surgeons believe that generally sleeping on your side promotes a more progressive aging appearance on that side vs. sleeping on your back.  However, after a face lift you will have swelling and in fact you can and will have more swelling on one side if you sleep on that side.  Ideally I would recommend 6 weeks, but minimally 2 weeks (as the incisions are healing).

Sleeping position after facelift surgery

Good question. First - you should only follow your own surgeon's instructions. I try to get my patients to lie as straight as possible for three weeks. It just help to keep the swelling the least. What you need to know is that once you start to sleep on your side, which ever side is "down" will end up looking a bit more swollen when you wake up. It's just the effect of gravity. It won't be permanent.

Side sleeping post facelift surgery

I would suggest that you speak with your surgeon since he or she knows your case intimately, but I think you'd be fine returning to sleeping on your side. You may experience a bit more swelling on whichever side your favor, but this will fade in time. 


Kouros Azar

Kouros Azar, MD
Thousand Oaks Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Sleeping on the side after a facelift

it is a good idea to try and sleep with the back/ head elevated the first two weeks after surgery to aid in circulation and mimimize swelling . One can usually begin to safely sleep on their side and early as two weeks after surgery but it might be uncomfortable So I encourage patients to try to wait about four weeks,and ,at that point, side sleeping should be without any issues.

Please seek a consultation with a BOARD-CERTIFED PLASTIC SURGEON 

Michael H. Wojtanowski, MD
Cleveland Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

How long after facial surgery can I sleep on my side?

You are about 2 and a half weeks out from surgery. You are probably safe to sleep on your side. If you have any concerns, I would wait until 4 weeks. I tell my patients at 4 weeks things are essentially completely healed. 

David Cangello, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews


I personally do not think sleeping on your side will harm your results at this point.  You may notice more swelling on the side you sleep on from time to time but that should all stop by 6-8 weeks postop. Jane

Sleeping Position after Facelift/Browlift/Fat Transfer

I have my patients sleep on their back for the first 2 weeks after surgery.  After that, they can sleep on their side if its not too uncomfortable.  However, I strongly recommend asking your surgeon, as he/she knows exactly what surgical maneuvers were performed and how a change in sleep position can effect the surgery.

Good luck!

Clyde Mathison, MD
Knoxville Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 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.