Saturday, 23 February 2013

Sleep after Surgery

How to sleep after jaw surgery?

Sleeping after jaw surgery can be both difficult and uncomfortable. As sleeping on your side is not an option after jaw surgery you will have to find ways to adapt to sleeping on your back and in an elevated position. In my experience I always sleep on my side so this was a rather difficult task. I found that sleeping upright with several pillows behind me helped me to relieve some of the pressure on my face. Being upright also helps to reduce the amount of swelling you will get. During my recovery I invested in a v shaped pillow and a neck pillow to support my neck. Or alternatively, to relieve the strain, you could use a small rolled up towel behind your neck.

To support my lower back and legs in this position I used a cushion under my knees and a small rolled up towel or small pillow under my lower back. As sleeping in this position can sometimes cause back pain, I used a hot water bottle under my lower back instead of the pillow or towel. Most recently, my friend bought me an electric heat pad which is really useful for when my back or my shoulders hurt.

During my recovery I also found that I became very congested, so I used Karvol or Orbis oil on my pillow to help me breathe. I know others who have invested in humidifiers and you can use both hot and cold options depending on your preference.

Finally, I used heat packs and ice packs to reduce my swelling and pain in the face. I advise that you have a small bedside lamp and take a drink and your pain relief with you when you do go for a nap. I found it extremely difficult to get comfortable. So when I did, I did not want to have to get up for drinks or medication.
4-5 pillows
Small rolled up towels
V shaped pillow
Neck pillow
Hot water bottle
Electric heat pad
Hot and cold packs
Microwave wheat pack
Karvol or Orbis or Vicks

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                    1. Thank you for posting these helpful tips. I have insomnia as it is, and it only gets worse when I'm sick and uncomfortable. I will be having my jaw surgery within the next few months and I've been really concerned about not being able to fall asleep. I'm sure that all of your tips will come in very handy for me! Thank you!

                    2. Thank you Jen. I have terrible sleep since i developed face pain a few years ago. Hope the tips help you t get comfy and good luck with surgery... let me know how you get on :)