How to Sleep After Umbilical Hernia Surgery? Tips to Help You With Recovery!

Recovering from hernia surgery is a challenge and that can make sleep difficult. We’ve broken down everything you need to know about sleeping after umbilical hernia surgery.
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Last updatedLast updated: September 12, 2022
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The pain a hernia causes can be relieved by an operation, but figuring out how to sleep after umbilical hernia surgery can be difficult. It’s hard to get comfortable when you’re experiencing post-op soreness, and lack of sleep can make that pain last much longer. Sleep is an important part of the healing process, so it’s important you find a way to get comfortable enough to get adequate sleep during recovery. In this article, we’ll cover how to elevate yourself in bed, the most effective ways to get in and out of bed, things to avoid, and some post-op healing tips too.

How to keep elevated while sleeping?

How to Sleep After Umbilical Hernia Surgery? Tips to Help You With Recovery!

While sleeping post-surgery, it’s best to sleep with your head elevated higher than the rest of your body. The added support this sleeping position provides makes it much easier to get comfortable and ease any pain.

With that said, it’s also easy for pillows to shift around throughout the night, especially with people who tend to move around in their sleep. Keeping them in one place can be tricky, but there are specific things you can do to prevent this issue. Wedge pillows are made specifically to prevent slippage throughout the night. On top of that, a full-body pillow can also make the trip while keeping you comfortable at other parts of the body.

Full-body pillows are often recommended by surgeons and physicians after major surgery specifically because they offer far more support than a bunch of regular pillows. With a full-body pillow, you also have the flexibility of sleeping in whatever position is most comfortable for you.

Many customers rave about the 57-inch Amagoing full-body pillow for a variety of reasons. For starters, its U-shape makes it an incredibly stable pillow as it’s held down by your body weight. This means you don’t have to worry about any slipping and moving around while you sleep. To add to that, the inside can be accessed via a zipper. This means you can take out some of the fillings if you feel the standard pillow height for the pillow is too much for you.

However, it’s worth noting that this particular pillow is said to lose height fairly quickly. If you’re just using it for post-operation recovery, it should be fine. But, if you plan to use it as a long-term sleep aid, you may find yourself buying more stuffing often.

Beyond that, keeping elevated while sleeping also depends heavily on a firm mattress that supports your body weight without buckling or giving uneven comfort. Many customers have recommended the Amerisleep AS2 mattress for its level of firmness. The mattress is considered medium-firm, which is nice for anyone who doesn’t like rock-hard mattresses and also doesn’t like a mattress that is too soft either.

The AS2 mattress has consistently won various awards for its quality and sleep guarantee. The mattress is also available in any bed size, which makes it even more popular for being accessible. It uses specific material in the mattress that wicks away moisture while you’re asleep and is far more breathable than its competition.

Full-body pillows

A good full-body pillow, paired with a high-quality mattress, will ensure you stay upright throughout the entire night. There are several different types of full-body pillows one could use, including C-shaped, U-shaped, and cylindrical, to name a few. However, we recommend using a U-shaped pillow as it allows optimal support when getting in and out of bed.

How to get in and out of bed?

How to Sleep After Umbilical Hernia Surgery? Tips to Help You With Recovery!

However comfortable you can get yourself after surgery means nothing if you don’t know a good way to get in and out of bed.

If you step out of bed wrong or lay down without thinking it through, you increase the potential for additional pain. Even after painkillers start to do their work, getting in or out of bed the wrong way can cause your incision to open and potentially become infected. As important as pain management is, taking care of your incision is vital for a speedy recovery.

Getting in

When getting into bed, there are certain guidelines you should follow. First and foremost, you need to make sure all of your pillows and blankets are in place before climbing in. This is important because once you’re in bed, you aren’t going to want to twist and turn a bunch of ways to get comfortable. The more you move around once in bed, the more likely you are to reopen your incision.

During each of the steps highlighted below, make sure you have a pillow held firmly against your incision to provide an extra cushion. Here’s what you should do to get into bed:

  1. Sit down in bed. Sit close to the head of the bed, just below where your pillows are set up.
  2. Slowly lay down on your side. Don’t lift your legs up yet. Make sure your head and torso are in a comfortable spot before proceeding to the next step.
  3. Lift your legs onto the bed. This step should also be done slowly to avoid stressing your body out and causing a cramp. Lift each leg up at the same time and gently rest them onto the mattress.
  4. Roll onto your back. When you first get into bed, you’ll be in a side-lying position. If you don’t like sleeping on your side, now is the time to slowly roll onto your back.
  5. Avoid excessive movement. Once you’ve laid down in bed, try to lay still. The more you move around, the higher chance you’ll have of feeling pain or causing issues with your incision.
Keep in mind, if you’re using a full body pillow, you’ll just need to lift one side of the “U” up before laying down. Once you’ve made it into bed, you can stay in the side-lying position and straddle the pillow in between your legs.

Getting out

Getting out of bed should be done with just as much care as getting into bed. In fact, it’s the same process in reverse mode. However, it’s important to remember to hold a pillow against your incision during the process. Here are the steps, in order, for getting out of bed in the morning:

  1. Rollback onto your side. If you’re already a side sleeper, then this step doesn’t apply to you. However, those who sleep on the opposite side or on their back should slowly make their way to their side where the bed ends.
  2. Legs go first. Slowly extend your legs and let them hang over the edge of the bed.
  3. Use your arm strength to lift up. To lift yourself into a sitting position, use the strength from your elbow and forearm.
  4. Get out of bed. Slowly stand up while still holding the pillow against your incision. Take your time during this step, so you don’t shock your body.

Once again, if you’re using a full-body pillow, then you’ll have one extra step to the process. Before letting your legs dangle over the bed, feed them under the side of the “U” that is on the edge of the bed.

What to avoid during sleeping after hernia surgery?

How to Sleep After Umbilical Hernia Surgery? Tips to Help You With Recovery!

Sleeping on your stomach has a high potential of messing with your stitches, and it can cause pain and discomfort at the incision site.

Human beings have an instinctive response to freeze when excessive pain is felt. For this reason, it’s very common to forget about the incision and do something you aren’t supposed to before the spot fully heals. Understandably so, some things can’t wait the full recovery Trusted Source Hernia Surgery & Repair: Larascopic Inguinal Hernia Operation Your doctor can remove your hernia in one of two ways. Both are done at a hospital or surgery center. You’ll usually go home within a few days. In many cases, you’ll be able to go home the same day as your procedure. www.webmd.com period, but there are others that can and should be avoided until you’re completely mended:

  • Don’t dysregulate your breathing. Holding your breath for any reason or diverting from your typical breathing pattern can lead to the development of pneumonia. After surgery, your doctor will likely give you some recommended breathing techniques to keep your breath patterns regular.
  • Don’t twist your upper body around. Because the umbilical hernia was situated at or near your belly button, and twisting from side to side uses those muscles, doing so will likely cause your incision to split, and you’ll be incredibly uncomfortable.
  • No stomach sleeping. Again, the surgery was performed on your front, near your belly button.
  • Don’t stray from the support pillow. When getting in or out of bed, as well as during sleep, it’s important to have a support pillow cushioning your incision site. This way, if you happen to move around at night, there’s a barrier preventing anything from messing with your incision.
  • Don’t skimp on sleep. Sleeping often can be frustrating, especially when you’re not used to having much downtime. However, adequate sleep is not only important for aiding in recovery, but it’s an essential part of living.

After-surgery healing tips

Just as each person is unique, the amount of time it takes for someone to recover may be drastically different from that of another person. Regardless of your body’s natural healing clock, there are certain things you can do to help aid in a speedy recovery.

Keep away from strenuous activity

There’s a reason “avoid heavy lifting” is one of the most common instructions given after any surgery. Regardless of how invasive or noninvasive a surgery is, your body still won’t be at 100% immediately afterward. You need to give your body time to heal before doing things like lifting heavy boxes, children, or other objects that require you to bend.

This is especially so with umbilical hernia surgery, as humans need to use core strength and legs to lift heavy objects properly. As your surgery was at or around the belly button, that is quite literally the middle of your core.

Follow all medical instructions

How to Sleep After Umbilical Hernia Surgery? Tips to Help You With Recovery!

After surgery, your doctor will likely give you specific instructions about physical activity, proper diet, and you’ll also leave with whichever prescriptions your doctor writes for you before being discharged.

Your post-op instructions are given to you for a reason. Surgery doesn’t magically make the issue go away. Yes, it takes away the source of the problem, but you still need to heal from the process of getting rid of the source.

Wait until your doctor gives the go-ahead

Before going back to your normal daily routine, it’s important to wait until your doctor clears you for work or any other physical activity you’re used to doing. This is to ensure you have ample time to rest and allow the incision site to heal fully. While it may be tempting to go back to your day-to-day right away, doing so will only make a recovery take longer. Perhaps you could pick up a new hobby while you’re stuck resting at home anyways.

Use your support pillow

This piece of advice has been mentioned several times throughout this article and for a good reason. A support pillow not only gives you an extra cushion to protect your incision site, but it’s also essential any time you need to go to the restroom, sneeze, or cough, as those functions require you to constrict those muscles.

Eat a well-balanced diet

Eating nutritious food is important in and of itself. However, it’s even more so after surgery. Your body underwent a significant stressor, and getting enough vitamins, minerals, and other essential substances will help aid in a quick and beautiful recovery.

Final thoughts

The bottom line is, recovering from any surgery Trusted Source Hernia Surgery & Repair: Larascopic Inguinal Hernia Operation Most of the time, surgery is the only cure for a hernia. But there are cases where you don’t need to go under the knife. This article explains what you need to know. www.webmd.com takes time and patience. Part of that recovery involves getting adequate sleep, but when it comes to umbilical hernia surgery, that can be difficult. Figuring out how to sleep after umbilical hernia surgery isn’t as stressful as it may seem.

So long as you’re careful about getting in and out of bed and you listen to everything your doctor tells you post-op, you’ll be well equipped to get comfortable while sleeping much quicker.

References

1.
Hernia Surgery & Repair: Larascopic Inguinal Hernia Operation
Your doctor can remove your hernia in one of two ways. Both are done at a hospital or surgery center. You’ll usually go home within a few days. In many cases, you’ll be able to go home the same day as your procedure.
2.
Hernia Surgery & Repair: Larascopic Inguinal Hernia Operation
Most of the time, surgery is the only cure for a hernia. But there are cases where you don’t need to go under the knife. This article explains what you need to know.
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