Walking involves all your systems, promotes normal body functions, helps you
to take deep breaths, improves your circulation and helps relieve any gas pains
you might have. As your strength returns, you will be encouraged to walk longer.
Ask for help getting out of bed until your nurse tells you it is safe for you
to do this alone.
Feet and Legs
These exercises will help return the blood from your legs to your heart. You
will be asked to do these when you are in bed after your operation. You can
practice these at home.
- Push toes of both feet toward the end of the bed.
Relax both feet. Pull toes of both feet toward your chin. Relax both feet.
- Point your toes and draw a circle with them, first to the right and then
to the left. It is important that you exercise your feet and legs every hour
while you are awake.
Intermittent Compression Device Stockings
Intermittent compression device stockings are cuffs that wrap around each
leg. They are connected to a machine that causes them to inflate and deflate
on a timed schedule. This promotes blood flow in your legs. They are taken off
while you walk, but should be used when in bed or sitting in a chair.
This is very important following an operation. It expands the lungs, aids
in circulation and helps prevent pneumonia. Some patients will also be expected
to cough as part of their exercise routine. Your nurse will help you with your
breathing exercises. You should follow these steps:
- Place your hand on your stomach near the bottom of
- Breathe in deeply and slowly.
- Your hands should rise as you breathe in.
- Breathe out slowly, empty your lungs as much as
- Your hands should move down as you breathe out.
For coughing as a result of deep breathing: place a small lightweight blanket
on your incision. Take three deep breaths, but on the third breath, instead
of blowing out, cough out the air. This will help move any secretions in your
lungs and also keep open the tiny air sacs in your lungs.
Incentive Spirometer: This is a plastic breathing device that will
be kept at your bedside. You breathe in deeply, like sucking on a straw, to
move the marker in the spirometer up and hold it briefly for a few seconds.
This device helps you to breathe deeply and fully expand your lungs.