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Walking involves all of 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 them 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

Your doctor may order 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 to your legs. They may be taken off while you walk, but should be used when in bed or sitting in a chair.

Deep Breathing

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 your ribs.
  • Breathe in deeply and slowly.
  • Your hands should rise as you breathe in.
  • Breathe out slowly, emptying your lungs as much as possible.
  • 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 the breath for a few seconds. This device helps you to breathe deeply and fully expand your lungs.