Early movement after surgery contributes to good circulation, prevents blood pooling in the veins of the leg and helps you to breathe. Maintaining good circulation promotes rapid healing of incisions, maintains muscle strength and helps prevent blood clots.
Unless it is unadvisable due to the type of surgery you had, your nurse will encourage you to turn from side to side or on your back at least every two hours. Your nurse will help you with positioning.
Rotating your ankles and moving your feet back and forth will help keep leg muscles strong and maintain good circulation in your legs. Your physician also may order support stockings and compression boots for you to promote good circulation in your legs. Compression boots are connected to a small machine that gives the leg a gentle massage by inflating and deflating the boots.
In most cases, depending on the kind of surgery you have had, you will sit up in a chair with assistance on the evening of the surgery or the following morning. Please call your nurse for assistance the first several times you try to get in and out of bed. Your activity will increase on a daily basis during your hospitalization.