What's the Best Sleeping Position for Someone with Breast Implants?

Is it normal for breast implants to fall to the side when I lie on my back? For example when I get up in the morning they seem to be further apart. One of my friend said her doctor gave her a band to wear over the surgical bra for sleeping at night. My doctor didn't do anything like that for me.

Doctor Answers 8

Sleeping after surgery

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I normally recommend patients sleep on their side or back.

I recommend you wear a bra for the first eight weeks of recovery to minimize the risk of displacement. However, you should really ask your surgeon, as they may have different guidelines

Sleeping after breast augmentation

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Support for breast implants is important during the first four weeks after surgery.  After that point the implant pockets are pretty much "set" and most patients can wear and do whatever is comfortable.  Implants that move around too much reside in over dissected pockets that need to be revised.

Implants falling to the side

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I tell patients that if they feel more comfortable sleeping in a supportive bra after the first month, they can but it is not mandatory. The implants may fall out to the side when sleeping on your back - but if they bother you, then it is best to discuss with your surgeon to see if possibly placing some internal sutures would help.

Sleeping position can damage your breast augmentation results

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Sleeping on you side without a supportive bra can encourage your implants to migrate down and out especially in the first few months after surgery before the pocket is fully mature.  Some patients also have outwardly angling chest walls that predispose to this problem.  

Breast implants are subject to gravity

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Breast implants do move out to the side when patients sleep on their backs. Depending on how the procedure was done, the extent of this 'lateralization' can be minimized. I ask my patients to sleep on their backs for a few weeks after surgery.

Sports bra while sleeping

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On your side or on your back for the first few months would be advised. You can definitely wear a sports bra while you sleep to keep them in place if you want the extra support.

Ronald Levine, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Sleep on back 4-6 weeks.

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Following breast augmentation, there’s always the potential for breast implants to shift and every effort should be made to avoid this problem.In the postoperative period, we recommend that patients sleep on their back for four to six weeks following surgery.In addition, we recommend that they wear a sports bra for at least six weeks, as well.
Sleeping on the abdomen or side in the early postoperative period has the potential to cause shifting of breast implants and should therefore be avoided.Sleeping on the back is difficult for some patients and they often move to their side without knowing it.For these reasons, we recommend that patients sleep in a recliner.
After six weeks, we allow patients to resume all their normal activities without restrictions.

Question about implants falling to the side.

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The natural tendency is for implants to fall to the side and for the cleavage to wide over time. However, the implants can certainly fall too far. Some things that can make this worse are a large pocket, lateral massage of the implants and ( I believe) saline implants. If it is bothering you, talk to your surgeon. The outside pocket can be closed to improve the situation. Good Luck!

Brian Klink, MD
Vacaville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 100 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.