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Early Recovery After Surgery

You have just had a surgery and are on the road to recovery. Getting out of bed and walking is the best way to help your body recover and get you home sooner. Taking short frequent walks after surgery is safe and will help you to feel less pain earlier. Moving also keeps your lungs healthy and promotes blood circulation.

Take your pain medication regularly for good pain control. This will help you to sleep better and move more comfortably.

Use your hands or a towel to support your wound whenever you want to cough or move. This will help minimise the pain.

Get Moving

To get out of bed, bend your knees and roll to the side, then push yourself up with your hands. This way of getting up in bed is less painful compared to raising the head of your bed.

Practise getting out of bed and sitting in a chair for 1 to 2 hours, 3 times a day.

You may have a urinary catheter, abdominal drains and other attachments but your physiotherapist will help to facilitate your movement and teach you how to walk with them.

Start walking with assistance, for example, with your family members or a nurse. Try walking along the ward corridor at least 3 times a day.

If you are unable to walk out of your room, try marching on the spot or standing up from your chair and sitting down in sets of 10 to achieve the same benefits.

Practise deep breathing exercises when you are in bed or sitting in the chair. This helps to expand your lungs and prevent chest infections after surgery.

Slowly take in a deep breath, hold your breath for 3 counts and breathe out in a relaxed manner. Support your wound if needed. Do this 10 times every hour when you are awake.

If you feel any phlegm, take a deep breath and cough it out while supporting your wound.

When you are in bed, move your ankles up and down to promote blood circulation. Do this 20 times every hour when you are awake or when you feel dizzy.

You may be prescribed a pair of stockings to prevent the formation of blood clots in your legs. Keep them on until you are walking around actively.

Going Home

Continue to stay active by going for walks after discharge. If your physiotherapist prescribes you with home exercises, continue to do them at home.

Avoid heavy lifting of more than 5kg and strenuous activities for 6 weeks. You can gradually return to your usual activities 4 weeks after your surgery.