The Value of Early Walking after Surgery
Early walking after surgery is one of the most crucial things you can do to prevent problems. Your doctor will order the activity that is best for you.
Starting to Walk after Surgery
While in bed, leg pumps will be applied to help promote blood flow in your legs. When it is time to get out of bed, your nursing staff (nurse or nursing assistant) will help you:
- Dangle at the bedside.
- Move from the bed to a chair.
- Walk in the hallways.
You may feel dizzy or faint when first getting up, so you must go slowly at first. This means sitting up slowly and sitting at the side of the bed for a few minutes.
Please let the nursing staff know if you feel faint, dizzy, nauseated, or are short of breath while walking.
Why should you walk?
Walking promotes the flow of oxygen throughout your body and maintains normal breathing function. It also strengthens your muscle tone. Gastrointestinal and urinary tract function are improved by walking. These body systems are slowed down after surgery. Walking also improves blood flow and speeds wound healing.
Failure to walk may cause increased constipation and gas pain, weakness, less power to fight infections, and puts you at a higher risk for blood clots and lung problems such as pneumonia. Prolonged bed rest may also increase the risk for skin breakdown and pressure sores.
If you have any further questions, ask your nurse or doctor.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 08/25/2011
Copyright © 08/25/2011 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#6711
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