Why sleeping in recliners after surgery?

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VegasBAV

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I'm reading a lot of reports of people sleeping in recliners for a while after surgery? Why is that? Does it hurt to lie flat on your back? Or is it a matter of difficulty getting in and out of the bed?

I have a recliner but it's pretty small and I'd rather not sleep in it too much.
 

Mom2izzy

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For me, it was the best way to keep myself from accidentally rolling onto my side or front. It did also make it easier to get up and change positions, but it felt soooo good to get back to my own bed that I didn't use the recliner for long.
 

Jkm7

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We have a recliner in our family room so I knew if I wanted it, one was available.
Two OHS, four years apart, and I never once slept in that recliner. I was fine in our bed from first night home both surgeries. I had a pile of pillows of various sizes and was able to place them such that I was most comfortable right in our bed. I had full sternotomy both surgeries. For me, bed with lots of pillows was best. I could not lie flat on my back for at least the first two weeks home as I remember it but I am sure I was quickly reducing the number of pillows I used.
 

Leoneida

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Hi VegasBAV,
My surgery was 2 weeks ago, Unicupid Aorta Valve replacement( mechanical valve)+ Aorta Ascending Aneurysm. I do not need the recliner. I came from the clinic and start to sleep on my bed. I am sleeping very good on my bed. My bed is pretty tall, so we use a little step ladder and try to do what the nurse teach me, how to get out and in from the bed, It helps a lot at the first week having 2 or 3 pillows behind me, after the 2nd week I do not need it anymore and sleep just with one pillow.
 

Debbrn

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I did not need the recliner after surgery either.

I actually needed the recliner for a year before the surgery. I could not sleep flat and never could get comfortable in bed with a bunch of pillows. I was getting into heart failure pre-op, but surgery fixed that. Yeah.

Debbie
 

Fundy

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I slept great flat on my back for first 5 weeks, then at that point got extreme pain in torso and couldn't lie flat on back at all. actually just leaning back in a chair to sleep hurt as well but it was bearable. It was 10 days before i could lie down on my side. Sleeping in a sitting position for so long does suck.
 

SCCWS

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I needed the recliner due to coughing. Whenever I tried to lie flat w my head inclined on several pillows, I started coughing. The first few nights home from the hospital, I tried sleeping in the bed but as soon as I did, the coughing started. I then changed to the recliner and I was able to sleep. After the 3rd day, my Dr. suggested I take a pain killer for sleep. I wasn't using the pain killers at all once I was home. Once I took the pain killer, it alleviated a lot of the coughing and I was able to sleep in the bed.
 

Luana

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My AVR was done with a small thoracotomy incision, an 3-inch incision between two ribs about 3 inches down from the collarbone. Not everyone is a candidate for this approach, but it's worth asking your surgeon about; it was one of my first questions. I had no trouble getting in or out of bed when home; the main reason people use a recliner is having the sternum broken makes more difficult to get in and out of bed, and had no trouble lying flat.
 

Bina

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I had put a daybed in near the window. The head was elevated and the bed was naturally a bit high and easy to sit on the edge.
Hubby helped me for a few weeks since my shoulder was really painful too, but i slept on my back and still do.
 

Lynlw

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One thing that I thought I'd mention in this thread that some people found helpful, is to practice sitting up from laying down and getting in and out of comfy chairs, bed etc from sitting to standing with out using your arms PRE-Op. Some people have found the more you practice before surgery the easier it can be after surgery. Even tho Justin has had quite a few heart surgeries, he likes to practice it before surgery, just to remind his body what to do so ater surgery when he can't use his arm without thinking about it
 

carolinemc

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It was easier to sleep there than try to get back into bed, it was a futon couch that I doubled for a bed. I freaked my brother out the first week of doing it. But it got better after week one. Hugs for today.
 

jenebug

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Well I guess I'm the exception here. I have spent most of my time sleeping in a recliner. My bed is also very high, which I thought would help, but it didn't. At 5 weeks, I am still having pain in my sides when I lay in the bed. I am not a back sleeper, and always sleep on my sides. I am also still having some coughing, which is more tolerable when in the recliner. It is not in an upright position when I sleep, but I am able to adjust it with my feet.
I discovered that if I lock both hands together and hold my elbows tightly against my ribs/sides, that hubby could help me up by pulling on my hands; this prevented any strain on my part and sure made the first few weeks tolerable.
I do still long for the nights when I can lie in my bed without pain and flip flop any way, without the need for pillows!
 

Rachel

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Holland, Michigan
I'm with you Jenebug, I couldn't sleep flat nor could I sleep on my side for about six to eight weeks after my surgery and I wasn't a back sleeper either. I slept either pretty much upright in the bed or in the recliner.

I couldn't sleep flat because it was uncomfortable and now I actually like sleeping flat on my back!

Rachel
 

Laggard

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I slept quite soundly on my bed five days after surgery. Getting out of bed was a bit painful and awkward though.
 

escargome

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I slept in my bed from the day I got home from the hospital. I am a side sleeper so in order to be comfortable, my husband put several pillows behind my body from my head down till about the back of my knees. This was fine and I slept in about 3 hour segments. Just practice getting out of bed if you choose to sleep there without putting pressure on your arms and shoulders. Use your tummy strength and legs. In any case find the place that feels good for you to rest in (recliner or bed) you need to be able to rest your body.
 

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