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Thread: Sleep number bed for flap surgery recovery

  1. #1
    Senior Member nevada's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    north dakoa

    Sleep number bed for flap surgery recovery

    I am having flap surgery for a pressure ulcer that has gone all the way to my ischium. I have been told I will be in bed for four weeks and I want to return to home for this time period as my last hospital visit resulted in this ulcer. I could stand a new bed and was thinking an adjustable bed would be nice. I am thinking a sleep number bed would be as close to the air bed used in the hospital but don't know for sure. I was wondering if any others out there have used one for this reason and been successful



  2. #2
    I would not recommend this during this healing time period. Better to get a hospital bed frame rental with a good quality low air loss or Dolphin mattress rental. We recommend these for the post-air-fluidized (like a Clinitron) bed healing period of 5-6 weeks for up to 6 months post flap, when your surgery is still healing. Sleep Number refused to provide us with their actual interface pressure studies done in-house, saying it was a "proprietary secret" so I cannot recommend this as an alternative.


  3. #3
    Senior Member nevada's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    north dakoa
    Thank you for the information I was planning on spending as much time on my stomach as I can stand and a hospital bed is just to small for me to be able to roll over from back to stomach.

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Canonsburg, PA
    Nevada, I'm a C7 complete 23 years post injury. I've had three flap surgeries over the past ten years all of which resulted in an inadequate sleep surface. I would highly discourage you from trying to recover from your surgery using anything but an air-fluidized bed. Even a low air loss or Dolphin mattress is not adequate pressure relief for what you will be going through. You're having a significant surgery and the recovery is delicate. You don't want to put yourself through all of that just to have it fail and have to go through that again. The typical recovery for this type of surgery is 6-8 weeks in a Clinitron flat on your back 24/7. Then to a rehab facility to incrementally get back up into your chair. I would recommend having a lengthy conversation with you surgeon about all of this before you proceed and make sure you're getting what you need to be successful.

    I speak from experience when I tell you that I cant be very difficult to get insurance providers to cover a Clinitron bed these days, particularly in home since Hill-Rom is no longer in the home market any more. Many insurance providers are pushing products such as the Dolphin but they aren't even close to the same product and I know of multiple persons who's flap surgeries have failed trying to recover on anything other than air-fluidized beds. If, after talking to your surgeon, you want to pursue an air-fluidized bed call Star Medical (610-554-3367). They are the only one's left in the US that provide and service these beds. If for some reason you are still having problems getting your insurance to cover this product feel free to contact me as I have started a non-profit organization to help people who need them get these beds for just such a situation.

    I hope everything goes well for you.

  5. #5
    Senior Member McDuff's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Dallas area, Tx
    I vote for the hospital/LTC facility too. I had a flap done 1.5yrs ago and spent 5 weeks flat on my back in one of those fluid beds, they are weird as hell, but sure did the trick. My Doc never even gave me the option of going home for recovery.

    I have a sleep number bed at home and it works very well for normal sleeping, I've had it for like 11yrs, and have been fine ever since flap too. But I would not put a virgin flap skin on it.

    Good luck, and heal well.
    "a T10, who'd Rather be ridin'; than rollin'"

  6. #6
    There are several companies that make air-fluidized beds, although they are not specifically designed for home use, and may not be able to be used in a home setting. This includes the Arjo-Huntleigh (formerly KCI) Fluid Air Elite, the Blue Chip Airus, and the Aurora HydroAire. We used all of these once we were no longer able to get the Hill-Rom Clinitron. The Airus did not pass our evaluation but we used both the Fluid Air Elite and HydroAire for post flap care, usually for the first 5-6 weeks post-op.


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