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Topic: Side-Sleeping Immediately after Unilateral Mastectomy?

Forum: Surgery - Before, During, and After — Surgical options and helpful tips for recovery and side effects.

Posted on: Jul 21, 2021 10:47PM

jamiebeth wrote:

I'm having a unilateral mastectomy, but I have a neurological issue that causes a lot of pain if I sleep on my back, even elevated with pillows and a wedge under my knees. I'm talking a LOT of pain. For those of you who have had unilateral mastectomies, did any of you sleep on your unaffected side immediately after surgery? I'm not sure how I'm supposed to sleep if I can't sleep on my back. Thanks!

Dx 12/15/2010, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 3/5/2011 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 3/12/2011 Balloon-catheter: Breast Dx 7/7/2021, DCIS, Left, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER+/PR+ Surgery 9/2/2021 Mastectomy: Left
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Jul 22, 2021 04:57AM Spookiesmom wrote:

I had bmx I only sleep on my left side, that’s where the drain was. A body pillow, was good to sleep. Some ladies sleep in a recliner or on the couch.

First time IDGgrade 3, stage 3. Second time, found lump myself. That made me stage 4. Dx IDC, Stage IIIA, Grade 3
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Jul 22, 2021 05:35AM star2017 wrote:

Honestly I slept in a chair for a while.

Dx@37, pregnant, BRCA2+ Dx 9/2017, DCIS/IDC, Right, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 4/8 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/16/2017 Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 11/28/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 4/17/2018 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Radiation Therapy 5/21/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Surgery 10/24/2018 Prophylactic ovary removal; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy 6/18/2019 Arimidex (anastrozole) Dx 5/2021, IDC, Right, 6cm+, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, ER+/PR+, HER2- Targeted Therapy Verzenio Radiation Therapy External: Bone Hormonal Therapy Faslodex (fulvestrant)
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Jul 22, 2021 08:37PM - edited Jul 22, 2021 08:42PM by Lille

I had issues sleeping on my back as well. If I didn't wake up with a headache, I was as likely to wake up feeling like I had been punched in the kidneys. I had a BMX and eventually I learned that I could stuff a nice fluffy pillow under one side of my back to sleep on a 45 degree angle, tilted towards my side without directly laying on my side. I wasn't laying on my incisions, I checked each night and it didn't shift the weight of my TE's that was noticeable. I could also wake up and move my pillow to stuff under the other side of my back. It helped alleviate a fair amount of pressure. A thought to try.

Surgery 5/19/2020 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting Dx 6/5/2020, DCIS, Right, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER-/PR- Surgery 7/13/2020 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 12/1/2020 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting, Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting, Silicone implant
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Jul 23, 2021 05:47AM mightlybird01 wrote:

I had right side UMX and slept on my left side right after surgery with no problems whatsoever. I did not have any special pillows or such things. I usually sleep mostly on my left side anyway, so that was lucky. I think you should be ok sleeping on your unaffected side. I can't sleep on my back either. Not because I have pains I just simply can't fall and stay asleep when laying on my back.

Dx 4/12/2019, IDC/IDC: Medullary, Right, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy 5/21/2019 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 11/8/2019 Mastectomy: Right
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Jul 23, 2021 05:50AM mightlybird01 wrote:

Adding to say that the first night in the hospital I really can't remember what I did because I did not sleep at all, or not much. It was a very uncomfortable plastic feeling bed, very thin blankest and overall just very uncomfortable setting. But as soon as I was home I slept on my unaffected side without an issue.

Dx 4/12/2019, IDC/IDC: Medullary, Right, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy 5/21/2019 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 11/8/2019 Mastectomy: Right
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Jul 23, 2021 07:08PM jamiebeth wrote:

Thanks, everyone!

Dx 12/15/2010, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 3/5/2011 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 3/12/2011 Balloon-catheter: Breast Dx 7/7/2021, DCIS, Left, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER+/PR+ Surgery 9/2/2021 Mastectomy: Left
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Aug 23, 2021 06:16AM Elizabett wrote:

My back hurts if I lay on my back too long. I sleep on my good side - had a right mastectomy aug 6. I prop and lean toward my right side ok but I don't stay there long. If it doesn't hurt I would try it.

Dx 7/8/2021, DCIS, Right, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER-/PR- Surgery Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right
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Sep 4, 2021 12:00PM Fairchild wrote:

I had a bilateral mastectomy and went back to side sleeping (either side) right away.

Fairchild Dx 5/5/2018, ILC/IDC, Both breasts, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Surgery 7/25/2018 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant, Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant, Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 9/6/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Targeted Therapy 1/8/2019 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy 1/9/2019 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Hormonal Therapy Aromasin (exemestane), Femara (letrozole)
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Sep 8, 2021 06:38PM jamiebeth wrote:

Thanks, everyone. I'm able to find a relatively comfortable sleeping position, but I'm not getting much sleep at night at all since my mastectomy on Sept. 2nd. I guess it's from all of the anxiety.

Dx 12/15/2010, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 3/5/2011 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 3/12/2011 Balloon-catheter: Breast Dx 7/7/2021, DCIS, Left, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER+/PR+ Surgery 9/2/2021 Mastectomy: Left

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