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Learning About Getting Moving After Surgery

What is early mobility after surgery?

After you have surgery or a serious illness, your doctors or nurses may want to get you moving as soon as possible.

This could mean sitting up, moving from the bed to a chair, or walking around the hospital.

Early mobility also means that you will be alert enough to do these activities. A physiotherapist, a nurse, or another member of your care team will help you.

What are the benefits of early mobility?

Using your muscles as soon as you can after surgery can help you recover. It may help prevent problems that you can have from staying in the hospital too long. It can help keep muscles strong, improve your breathing, and help keep your bowel movements regular. It also can help keep your memory sharp.

What can you expect if you get early mobility?

You may start your early mobility in an intensive care unit or in another part of the hospital.

Doctors will manage your pain. But make sure that you're alert enough to start doing some of the movements.

Even if you're on a ventilator, which helps you breathe, or you have an IV, which provides fluids to your body, you can still do some of the early mobility activities. A nurse, a physiotherapist, or some other member of your care team will work with you on the movements. This person will make sure that you're safe. For the early part of your recovery, you will have help when you are moving around.

Small movements may be harder than you think they should be. This is normal after surgery. These small movements can make a big difference in your recovery.

Where can you learn more?

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