How long after a Facelift and upper/lower blepharoplasty can I sleep on my side?

I'm a die-hard stomach and side sleeper and one of my greatest concerns about getting a facelift is sleeping on my back. How many weeks do I have to do this after surgery? Thanks!

Doctor Answers 24


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While there are no hard and fast rules, I ask patients to avoid sleeping on their side for the first two weeks- this helps to prevent laying on the incisions and possibly irritating or disrupting the suture line. In addition, we ask that patients try to keep their head elevated for  the first two weeks after surgery to help decrease swelling.

That said, we also would like to make sure patients get a good nights sleep. If these restriction are too much of a challenge to sleep, then we are fine with the patient modifying these guidelines.

Indianapolis Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Post operative positioning

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Hello! It will help reduce swelling if you keep your head higher than the level of your heart. I recommend my patients do this for the first week, and add another week or two if they are concerned about swelling. You can try tilting a recliner back, this usually is comfortable and forces you to sleep on your back. Good luck!

Catherine Winslow, MD
Indianapolis Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Sleeping pos

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Thank you for your question. We advise our Facelift patients to sleep elevated and on their backs from 2-4 weeks after surgery. Swelling and incision healing can vary from patient to patient and depending on that patient, your Surgeon will let you know when its safe to sleep on your side. Good luck. 

Ed Breazeale, Jr., MD
Knoxville Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

How long after a Facelift and upper/lower blepharoplasty can I sleep on my side?

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I generally have my patients sleep on 2-3 pillows on their back for 2 weeks after a facelift. Each surgeon will have different thoughts so it's best to speak with your own surgeon about that. Hope that helps! 

Mathew A. Plant, MD, FRCSC
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

When you can sleep on your side after a facelift and a blepharoplasty?

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In the case of a facelift, you can sleep on your side safely if you have a protective dressings with compresses around the head. Once the dressing is removed (this depends on the surgeon's preference), you can sleep on your side 7 to 10 days postoperatively.
In the case of blepharoplasty, you can sleep on your side strating 48 hours postoperatively, as long as your eyelids do not rub against the pillow or mattress.

Nabil Fanous, MD
Montreal Facial Plastic Surgeon

Sleeping position after facelift

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It is important to sleep with your head elevated for a couple of weeks after surgery to reduce swelling, and for some even longer. I know this can be difficult for many patients, I recommend to my patients that they sleep in a recliner to help them be comfortable during this time. Many patients find a recliner at a garage sale and then sell it when they are done! Good luck!

Miguel Delgado, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

When can I sleep on my side after facelift and upper/lower blepharoplasty?

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Usually after 3-4 weeks you should be able to sleep on your side after facelift and blepharoplasty surgery. 

Fred Suess, MD (retired)
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon

Sleeping position after facelift

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Thank you for your question.  The answer will depend on the surgeon and type of facelift that was performed.  In general, I ask my patients to preferentially sleep on their back with their head elevated 20-30 degrees for 2 weeks.  This helps with swelling and avoids any possible abrasion or rubbing of the incisions.  I also ask the patients to avoid fully turning their neck for the first month so as to not put any extra tension on the deep support sutures while the soft tissues are healing in place.  I realize that not everyone will be able to comply fully with my recommendations, but this gives them a target to shoot for.  All the best!

Sirius K. Yoo, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Sleeping on side after face and eye lid lifts

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Thank you for asking about your face lift.

  • It is best to ask your own surgeon.
  • From my point of view, after 3-5 days, I don't mind if a patient sleeps on their side with the face supported by a pillow.
  • But keeping the head elevated is important - otherwise your face is very swollen in the morning.
  • Stomach sleeping is out for 4-6 weeks.

Always consult a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Hope you find this information helpful. Best wishes.

How long to sleep on your side.

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My recommendation is always to sleep with your head elevated 30-40 degrees the first week or even two, ideally on your back. However, I recognize that realistically it is hard to know, never mind control our body position as we sleep. Thus I reassure patients that even if you end up sleeping on your side, it will not in the end undermine the procedure as a whole. At worst, the side that you sleep on may swell more and may take a little extra time to heal. Best of luck. 

Ravi Dahiya, MD
Washington Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 61 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.