A Couple Days After Surgery

A day or two after your surgery, you’ll start to move around more, increasing your activity and self-care as you’re able.

You’ll sit in a chair two to three times a day for 30 to 60 minutes. And, with some help, you’ll stand up and do some walking and other exercises.

To protect your incision, we’ll ask you not to use your arms to push up to standing, lower yourself to sitting, or push or pull while getting out of bed. This will allow your chest to heal for the next six weeks.

Just as you did on the first day, you’ll continue your breathing exercises using the incentive spirometer. Two other exercises you can do are shoulder circles and ankle pumps. And once you feel up to it, you can add in some knee kicks, knee lifts, forward arm lifts, elbow flex, and walking. Make sure to do these exercises two to four times each day.

If your doctor has told you that you have heart failure, you may make slower progress or need more rest breaks. It depends a lot on how active you were before your surgery. If pain is getting in the way of doing the exercises, tell your care team right away.