How to Sleep After Pilonidal Cyst Surgery
Getting good sleep after a surgical procedure can be challenging, especially when the wound is on your backside. In one study, nearly half of patients with a pilonidal sinus wound reported that there were at least six nights in which they struggled to sleep well. That statistic may leave you feeling concerned about whether pilonidal surgery is for you.
Don't let sleep worries keep you from pursuing essential treatment. By learning how to sleep after pilonidal cyst surgery, you can help your body get the rest it requires.
Prepare for Sleep
The first step to getting good sleep after surgery for a pilonidal cyst — also known as a pilonidal sinus — is to prepare yourself for bed. Relaxing your body and soothing your wound may help you settle down for sleep.
Depending on your surgical procedure, you may be able to rest your buttocks in a sitz bath of warm water and Epsom salts for a few minutes. This can help reduce discomfort and swelling, so you may want to try it right before turning in for the night. Always consult your doctor before attempting sitz bath therapy.
Putting an ice pack on the wound can help as well. The cold will reduce inflammation and provide a numbing effect. You may want to bring an ice pack to bed with you so you can lie with it for a few minutes before drifting off. After a few days, your doctor may recommend switching to heat therapy instead.
You may be sent home after the procedure with a prescription pain reliever. Try to time your doses so that you'll take one shortly before bed. Don't try to tough it out; instead, keep up with your medication so that your body can relax and rest.
Depending on what type of prescription you are given, you may be able to pair it with an over-the-counter pain medication for additional relief. Always consult your doctor or pharmacist before doubling-up on pain relievers.
Find the Right Position
It's critical that you pick the right sleeping position. This is not the time to lie on your back. That position will put pressure on the most sensitive part of your body right now.
You have two options for sleeping positions during the postoperative period: your stomach or your side. Either of these sleeping styles can help reduce the strain on of your back and buttocks. When lying on your side, be careful not to curl into a position that stretches your lower back.
Consider bringing extra pillows to bed with you. You can arrange these around yourself to provide comfort and support. The pillows may also prevent you from rolling onto your back as you sleep.
Get Enough Rest
It's smart to get as much ready before your surgery as you can so that you'll have what you need afterward. Your preoperative sleep preparations may include purchasing Epsom salts and over-the-counter pain medication, placing ice packs in the freezer, and gathering extra pillows.
Although this may seem like a lot of work just to prepare for a good night's sleep, it will be worth it. Being able to get good rest during the recovery period can promote healing.
To encourage yourself to rest, try to stay in bed as much as possible. By limiting your movement, you will allow your body to relax and your wound to heal. Instead of getting up to take care of things yourself, ask a friend or family member to bring you food, drinks and other supplies that you need.
Consider asking your loved ones to create a soothing environment in which you can recover. Playing soft music or running a white-noise machine can help block out extra sounds so that you can doze during the day. Having someone draw the shades and dim the lights can be beneficial as well. Others' respect for your need to rest can go a long way toward your healing.
Choose the Right Procedure
Above all, the first step to getting good sleep after pilonidal surgery happens before you ever enter the operating room. The key is to choose the right type of pilonidal sinus surgery.
Traditional excision procedures will leave you with an open wound or multiple stitches. The healing process for these surgeries can be long and painful. The more arduous your recovery is, the harder it's going to be to return to normal sleep anytime soon.
If you can choose a less invasive approach to pilonidal surgery, you'll have a better chance of being able to sleep well in the days that follow. One of the top choices is laser treatment with the neoV Laser.
Watch the following video to see how the laser is used to take care of the sinus without creating a huge wound:
Laser surgery leads to a shorter recovery period. For example, studies show that laser patients usually return to work two or three days sooner than those who have traditional cystectomies. Plus, patients who have laser surgeries report lower postoperative pain levels. Shorter recovery and less pain may contribute to getting a better night's sleep.
According to one study, laser treatment may be around 87.5% successful. This is good news because it means that you probably won't need a followup procedure. Instead, once your healing is complete, you can get back to restful, worry-free sleep.
Because good rest is so important to mental wellbeing and physical healing, it's important that you know how to sleep after pilonidal cyst surgery. You can promote good sleep by taking steps to reduce your pain before bed, lying on your side or your stomach, and prioritizing opportunities to rest.
Whenever possible, choose a minimally invasive approach to pilonidal sinus surgery. Choosing a treatment that boasts short healing times and low postoperative pain may help you achieve normal sleep patterns sooner. To find a doctor who performs neoV Laser surgery, use our Find a Doctor feature.