Tips for Getting Out of Bed After Abdominal or Chest Surgery
For the first few days when you come home after surgery, it is always best to have a family member or friend help you to get out of bed.
Do not get out of bed directly from lying flat. Always sit up in bed for a few minutes.
Gently swing your legs back and forth, bend and stretch your ankles and twiddle your toes. If you feel faint or weak, go back to bed.
Have your helper put on your socks, and shoes or sturdy slippers with low heels and non-slip soles.
Use a footstool if the bed is too high for your feet to reach the floor without sliding off the bed.
Stand still on the floor with your feet slightly apart for a few seconds.
Have your helper put on and fasten your robe.
For the first few times out of bed, when you feel strong enough, walk a few steps to a bedside chair with arms.
When you reach the chair, turn round so that your calves are touching the front of the chair.
Bend your knees, grasp both arms of the chair firmly and lower yourself backward into the chair.
Reverse the process to get out of the chair.
At any time, if you feel weak, dizzy or have chest pain, get back to bed and immediately inform your doctor.
Some additional tips for the helper to follow:
- Make sure your own footwear has non-slip soles.
- Remove any hazards from the floor, such as slip rugs, frayed carpet or linoleum, or electric cords.
- Stand at the side of your patient, not directly in front
- Avoid lifting your patient under the arms. This can cause pain or dislocation of the shoulder joint.
- Never let your patient put arms around your neck.