I have a question and figured the answers will be of interest to those getting surgery in the future.
While recovering from surgery, to sleep with our neck and head elevated 30 degrees, I thought it would be most comfortable to elevate the head of the bed–angling the entire bed 30 degrees–rather than using a wedge pillow.
Is there any reason why a wedge pillow would be advantageous for elevating one’s neck and head for sleep?
I’m set to get surgery for ES and Internal Jugular Vein outflow obstruction syndrome. Alas!!!
Would say elevating your head and neck will stabilize your muscle and hinder muscle and scar tissue to strech aswell as it will relax pressure and help with the bloodflow
As for bloodflow, it will help with the swelling and bleeding. It is the same if you have an injury in your leg and it is swelling alot, doctors often recomend to elavate your leg because of bloodflow/swelling.
I belive also that since you are elevated you are restricted to move too much and your scar tissue would get acess to air.
And one more thing is that it is not reccomended sleeping/laying at the same side off the surgery opening/scar. Wich i belive will just cause pain and further swelling and then it will be natural to sleep straight up and down with slight elevation. I can think off many reasons why.
I agree that your bed/matress would be nice to elevate aswell. Im going to try that after my surgery aswell, lift my matress a little and make an angle against the wall so it will be 45 or about 30 degrees.
But i will also reccomend wedge pillow because then you can move it around, put it in the freezer or heat it up also.
Hi @PamelaInNYC - Head elevation is head elevation however you choose to make it happen so there is no real advantage to using a wedge pillow vs elevating the head of your bed except as @Henrik noted -
I will say that I wouldn’t try to freeze a wedge pillow. They’re pretty big & that would put a lot of cold in places you’d want to keep warm. Having an icepack on your neck will be chilly enough.
My wedge pillow didn’t elevate my head to 30º so I added a bunch of bed pillows on top of it which also made it more comfortable & allowed me to contour it to accommodate my shoulders & support the small of my back. Some of our members have found that using a U or V shaped pillow for neck stabilization/support post op was helpful to prevent rolling onto or turning the head to the sore side while sleeping.
I’m excited your surgery is coming up soon! What is your surgery date? Please let us know how it goes!!
I have a wedge foam mattress topper. The idea there is to offer a gentle slope for the whole body, hopefully not kinking the back.
That said, I don’t like it I think most of us have neck/back issues and supporting the back fully is important. I feel, for me, any slope is best used laying on my back vs side. I think on my side it puts a weird kink in my back?? Hmmm. I wished I had a recliner chair during my recovery. I think lying on my back in bed was too painful post op, not as bad as lying on the surgery side but a close 2nd.
@PamelaInNYC - I am not comfortable on a wedge pillow at all, but everyone is different. Try it before surgery to see if it works for you. I raised the head of the bed and found a latex pillow with a depression in the middle so the pillow did not touch the sutures by my ears. Made a huge difference.
I was in a recliner for quite a while before surgery to keep propped up, but afterwards the wedge pillow seemed comfy enough, I had a v shaped one as well to take the pressure off the sides of the neck. Whatever works!
Thank you for asking @Isaiah_40_31 3/29/24 is my surgery for ES and Internal Jugular Vein outflow obstruction syndrome. (Because I’m in my home for only a total of 2.5 weeks before that date, I’m planning what I need to set up in advance for recovering at home.)
yep, for me the entire body slope seemed to compromise my back (when sleeping on my side). And, lying on my back wasn’t comfortable for me post surgery. I seemed to do best lying on the opposite side as the surgery when in bed. Just me, options are good to have as it is hard to tell what will work for you.