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The Importance of Remobilising After Surgery

By: Jo Johnson - Updated: 18 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
The Importance Of Remobilising After Surgery

Anyone who has had surgery will have a basic understanding of why it is important to regain mobility as soon as possible after their operation.There are in fact many reasons why it is such an important part of the recovery process.


With the exception of just a few types of surgery, the chances of returning to the level of independence maintained before surgery is high.

If a person has had surgery and is finding it difficult to return to full mobility the thought of achieving independence may be enough to spur them on and encourage them to try their hardest at making the best possible recovery.

DVT Risks

Along with the many risk factors associated with deep vein thrombosis such as smoking is the increased chance due to lack of mobility.When you are about to have or have just had surgery, the hospital staff are likely to fit you with a pair of anti-embolism stockings unless you have a condition that makes this ill-advised.

These stockings are used as a prophylactic measure and work by putting the veins in the legs at different levels of compression which encourages the blood contained in the veins to return to the heart ready for re-circulation. This stops the blood pooling in the vessels of the legs which can clot quite quickly and occlude the vessel entirely. When this occurs the tissues can be put at risk and also there may be a chance of the clot travelling to the heart and lungs which can be fatal.

These stockings however can only help to a certain degree and there is no substitute for exercise, no matter how small, to help prevent the occurrence of a DVT.Small lower limb movements and stretches may be all it takes to keep the blood flowing accurately through the veins.

Infection Prevention

A lot of people are unaware that the risks of getting an infection are increased by not mobilising early enough. The chances of getting a urine infection of chest infection are both more likely if the patient spends long periods laying in bed being unable or not trying to move.

The presence of urinary catheters is also known to be a cause of infection so by mobilising early, toileting needs can be managed without the need for these devices.

How to Mobilise After an Operation

There are many ways in which a patient can help their recovery and trying to become more independent and mobilise a little more every day will help to achieve this.If you have had an operation, especially a major one, you may find that a physiotherapist will come and visit you in hospital. These people are experts in post-operative mobilisation and will encourage you giving the most appropriate exercises that are suited to your needs.

Always follow their instructions and feel free to discuss any concerns with them.When you feel able, try moving your toes and ankles in small positive movements, slowly building up their strength. Think positively and set your goals realistically, making sure you take all medications as advised by your doctor.

Mobilisation after surgery is a very important part of the recovery process but it is also of paramount importance that you follow the post-operative instructions set out by the doctor, nurses and other health professionals. If you have been advised to delay mobilisation or have been given specific exercises to perform this must take preference over any other advice.

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