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How do you sleep post surgery?

Jan4you's picture
Posts: 1322
Joined: Oct 2013

Just wondering how you sleep post surgery. Was thinking of getting a recliner, then it occured to me that pushing back and trying to get UP would be too difficult.

I know some of you mention propping self up in bed. Any other ideas that worked for you?


Thanks, Jan

icemantoo's picture
Posts: 3235
Joined: Jan 2010


I stayed on the downstairs couch for about 10 days after I got home. Those first few days are more than a bit uncomfortable. but it is all part of the Initiation and it beats the alternative. Wear loose clothing and expandable shorts like gym shorts.





foxhd's picture
Posts: 3183
Joined: Oct 2011

Most people do well with the recliner. Using it isn't much of an issue. It was good for me. After learning the hard way. I tried getting out of a water bed before I had a recliner moved into my room. Dummy.

Posts: 19
Joined: Feb 2013


Slip the hard plastic extention tube from your vacuum onto the recliner handle. It will save you from bending and twisting over the side of the chair to reach that low handle. Hope it helps.

Skagway Jack's picture
Skagway Jack
Posts: 221
Joined: Oct 2013

I Moved a recliner into my den and lived in the den for about 2 weeks.  I was sleeping relatively comfortably in my bed at a month and aside from occasionaly waking my self up by rolling into some awkward position.  I am post op 7 weeks now and I hardly notice any pains.   I swim a mile every other day, and that has loosned up things considerably. Occassionaly after long days I get back pain in the viscintiy of the missing kidney. 

Good luck!

Gordon Charles's picture
Gordon Charles
Posts: 91
Joined: Jun 2012

After my radical open it became clear that using my stomach muscles was not going to work getting in and out of bed.  So I would sit on the edge and then basically tip to the right and roll on to my back as I hit the mattress.  When getting out, roll on your side, put your legs over the edge of the bed and pull yourself up.. then stand... it obviously takes a few appropriate hand hold spots but allows you to sleep in your own bed....


Good Luck...

Phoenix Rising's picture
Phoenix Rising
Posts: 170
Joined: Jul 2012

Open surgery with midline incision from mid-chest, arounf the navel, and down to....

I slept in a recliner with pillows on each side of my body and that u-shaped travel pillow around the back of my neck To keep my head from bobbing to the side. Good stuff! I slept well.


GSRon's picture
Posts: 1304
Joined: Jan 2013

I had no problem sleeping... but then I was in the hospital for 12 days and had lots of good drugs..!  Once I got home, I slept so so in the bed, but quickly moved to the recliner and the sofa.  I alternate between the reclinder and sofa still, and that is what 18 plus months post surgery...  Sometimes ya just gotta do what ya gotta do...


izzycohen's picture
Posts: 75
Joined: Aug 2013

for the first week or so.  Until I got my staples out.  The recliner worked better for me because I could get up and down, bed was a problem while I stil had staples.

Good Luck.



Jojo61's picture
Posts: 1310
Joined: Oct 2013

I have been sleeping in my bed and it hasn't been too bad! I slept great the first night....my hubby not so much. I guess every time I moved I would let out a painful moan. But even the dog slept with me! Although she beat me to the pillow. We got a chuckle out of her bee-lining it to my pillow as I was still struggling just to get into the bed! She slept on my pillow every night I was in the hospital. Spoiled dog. Last night I didn't sleep as well, but I also did not take pain meds....trying to cut them out....not that they do that much. Maybe I will try the recliner. I just can see myself unable to get out of it. I am not greatly coordinated at the best of times!


NanoSecond's picture
Posts: 653
Joined: Oct 2012


Don't rush to cut those meds out.  You need to stay ahead of any pain.  It will significantly speed up your recovery.  Trust me - getting a good nights sleep is as important as anything you can do during the day.

Keep in mind that all opiods will cause constipation.  So stay ahead of that as well.

Jojo61's picture
Posts: 1310
Joined: Oct 2013

Hi Neil,

I wasn't really rushing to cut the meds out. This is how it went....They gave me a morphine drip but it was having no effect on me. Tuesday night they decided to give me dilaudin thru iv. It was great. And short lived. The next morning the resident doctor informed me that they wanted to start me on tablet meds. Percocet also has no effect on me other than making me vomit, so they put me on Tylenol 3s. Really....they don't do much, but there isn't any other options. So that was my next battle. Every 5 to 6 hours I would have to ask for some T3. And every time the nurse would act surprised that I wanted some pain meds! I know you guys said don't be a hero and take the meds....and I was thinking this is only Wednesday, and I had my kidney out on Monday afternoon...but maybe I was a wimp??? I have been taking stool softeners to offset the codeine. I will take the T3 tonight before bed. Maybe I can have another good night's sleep. Do you think I could take some gravol along with that? That makes me really sleepy. I also find that if I take Tylenol 3 a lot, I get very dizzy. I am not a good candidate for meds, it seems....

Thanks for your help and expertise!


NanoSecond's picture
Posts: 653
Joined: Oct 2012

Hi JoJo,

Thanks for clarifying your situation.  I am sorry to hear that Percocet had no effect (well, not the intended effect).  Any suggestion of trying Tramadol?

How about Vicodin? Does it effect you as severely as Percocet does?

Are you suggesting taking some Gravol with Percocet to offset the nausea/vomitting?

Will they allow any Ibuprofen?  It is generally frowned on for us - but if the use is limited and short term it should not be a problem. It certainly would be more effective against your pain than Tylenol 3.


Jojo61's picture
Posts: 1310
Joined: Oct 2013

Hi Neil

I was not offered vicodin or tramadol.  Just percocet or xTylenol 3. I wonder if Vicodin or Tramadol are even offered in Canada? As far as gravol...I just thought if I took it with my Tylenol3  just to make me sleep better.

Thanks for your help!



Jan4you's picture
Posts: 1322
Joined: Oct 2013

Good to hear from you Jojo!

I guess what I am trying to figure out is which is more beneficial a recliner or your own bed?

Jojo, it sounds a bit early to stop or cut down on  your pain meds, it's not even a week. But I understand. Adding extra fiber or OTC's like Miralax would be helpful.

I am already on a 12 hour release RX Diclofenac, a strong NSAID, along with Baclofen for my leg spasticity and spinal stenosis. That is why I am trying to prepare.  I believe in anti-inflammatory meds and ice, but will take the Opiates at first too.

I had NO Problem following my stomach surgery, never even needing pain meds , but then I had 7 little incisions. Maybe having incisions below the navel makes it harder to move. I think you need a pillow when getting up, right? 

I can imagine how much better it would feel to be in a recliner for sleep, only getting UP seems to be the challenge. I have short arms too to pull up that lever. But I heard of an extension.

Thanks all for your responses~


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