I Havent Slept in More Than Two Hours at a Time Since my Surgery! What Do I Do? (photo)

I am a 20 year old male who is 5 days PO from an extended tummy tuck and liposuction of the flanks. I have not been able to sleep since the surgery for more than 2 hours. When i do sleep i enter the twilight sleep state and will stay there until i awake only minutes later. My doctor prescribed me xanax but that isnt helping me stay asleep and they after calling regarding the issue he gave me ambien, the ambien gave me hallucinations and kept me up all night in a panic. What do I do?

Doctor Answers 3

No sleep post surgery

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Sorry for your distress. It is not uncommon to having difficulty sleeping post surgery. Your surgeon is the best person to guide you as he or she understands the scope of the surgery, and the specifics about you. Alternatively, you can contact your primary physician to see if he or she has further recommendation. Your surgeon and primary physician may jointly be able to come up with a good solution for you.  

Insomnia after surgery

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Sleep disturbance after surgery is really common and can make recovery more difficult.  In my experience (as a patient and a surgeon), a lot of the sleep disturbance is from the strong narcotics taken for pain.  I try to get my patients off narcotics ASAP after surgery if they are having sleep problems.  In many cases, after 5 days or so, patients can transition to ibuprofen and Tylenol (make sure not to exceed recommended doses) if there are no issues with bleeding or liver function.  I will often add a long acting sleeping pill such as Halcion or Lunesta.  And sometimes a little Benadryl at night is very helpful.  It is sedating and also helps with any itching which is common after surgery.

Work with your surgeon to find the right combination of treatment for you.  This too shall pass and when it does, you will never take a good night's sleep for granted again!


No sleep

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Not being able to sleep is somewhat normal after surgery the pain pills can be keeping you up. Seeing your Surgeon and addressing that with him is important.

Stuart B. Kincaid, MD, FACS (in memoriam)
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

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.