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Recliner sleeping after DIEP: What to look for? What to avoid?

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Hi! I'm hoping some of your have experience that can help us out with preparing for my next surgery. I'm going to be having a DIEP reconstruction sometime in either Oct or early Nov. After my mastectomies in Aug I made due with sleeping in our king size bed with a bunch of pillows wedged all around me. But after reading here the last few weeks it seems a recliner is the way to go for sleeping while recovering from a DIEP.

It's been 15 years since we've had a recliner. I have no idea what's out there now and what to look for (or what to avoid?) I know the old-school lever/handle on the side is not happening. And after looking at Amazon I'm realizing there are all kinds of caddies and cup holders and pillows – what's actually helpful and what isn't worth the money?

Thank you :)

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  • Lula73
    Lula73 Member Posts: 705
    edited September 2017
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    we have never owned a recliner. On looking for one for post DIEP recovery it became very clear that an electric recline was the best option for me. Like you said-no way on the side lever 1) you likely won't be able to reach it, 2) you likely won't have the strength to pull it, 3) if you do get it to move it will likely fling you back/forward causing pain. The ones with the handle tucked between the seat cushion and side of the chair would require moving too much and the strength issue plus the quick spring release flinging you forward/back. And there was no way I'd be able to wirk the ones you recline using your legs and arms to push it back and Then sit up and use your legs to come back up. electric reclinershave different speeds. Slower is better in my opinion. Ashley Furniture has a really good selection of electric ones to choose from. Make sure to sit in them for a while. They even have a couple models that will lift you all the way up to an almost standing position. For me it came down to the Ashley Graford and the one that lifts to almost standing. The Graford was the most comfortable to me so we went with it. Both had a slower recline too.

    Hope this helps

  • AlteredArtgirl72
    AlteredArtgirl72 Member Posts: 16
    edited September 2017
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    Lula73, thank you! We have an Ashley Furniture nearby so we'll add them to our list. Did you have extra pillows or anything to help you stay comfortable? I've read where some people slept with a travel pillow around their neck for extra support (?)

    I'm still having fills to the tissue expanders and every time I think I'm comfortable enough to try sleeping on my side... it's time for another fill! It just reinforces the fact that I have no clue what I'm doing ;)

  • trishyla
    trishyla Member Posts: 698
    edited September 2017
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    Hey Altered,

    I left a reply for you on the Diep Flap thread.

    I didn't have a recliner for my recovery. I was fortunate that we had my Mom's electric tempurpedic bed in my youngest daughter's room. Since she was away at school, I was able to use it for the first 8 weeks after surgery. Then she graduated, and moved back home. Man, I miss that bed!

    Trish

  • AlteredArtgirl72
    AlteredArtgirl72 Member Posts: 16
    edited September 2017
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    Trishyla, thanks! I've already started scheming that now is the time to get a new bed for our room – maybe that's the route we need to go if we don't have luck with the recliner. That commercial with "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" playing in the background, where the wife starts snoring and her husband's hand shoots up with the remote control and raises her side = Makes me laugh every time :) I sleep with earplugs every night because my husband snores. This need for more comfortable recovery could be a blessing in disguise!

  • Lula73
    Lula73 Member Posts: 705
    edited September 2017
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    I bought 2 small travel sized pillows at bed bath and beyond and 1 regular size down alternative pillow of the same brand. The little pillows were meant for under my arms but ended up at the small of my back to account for the curve there. The larger pillow rarely needed fluffing or anything (I usually sleep on down but it always needs fluffing) and I still use it today.


  • Lula73
    Lula73 Member Posts: 705
    edited September 2017
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    I bought 2 small travel sized pillows at bed bath and beyond and 1 regular size down alternative pillow of the same brand. The little pillows were meant for under my arms but ended up at the small of my back to account for the curve there. The larger pillow rarely needed fluffing or anything (I usually sleep on down but it always needs fluffing) and I still use it today.


  • Infreyred
    Infreyred Member Posts: 5
    edited May 2018
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    I have JUST finished a bilateral DIEP surgery. I rented a recliner / LIFT and thank Godbc no way could I stand up from a bed. It has been a life-saver