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Surgery: What You Need to Know Online Manual

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Getting in and out of a bed or chair

Getting in and out of bed

Practice getting in and out of bed the day before your surgery.

General tips

  • Use your arms as little as possible.
  • Avoid twisting your upper body.
  • Don't hold your breath when moving.
  • Raise the head of your bed.

Getting out of bed

diagram showing how to get out of bed after surgery
  • Hug your pillows.
  • Roll onto your side.
  • Dangle your feet over the edge of your bed.
  • Use your elbows to raise your upper body.
  • Use your legs to pull yourself into a sitting position.

Remember: Exhale as you sit up.

Getting into bed

diagram showing how to get into bed after surgery
  • Ask someone to put the siderails down.
  • Sit close to the head of your bed.
  • Hug your pillow.
  • Lie down on your side.
  • Bring your legs up onto the bed.
  • Roll onto the bed.

Remember: Don't hold your breath when getting into bed.

Getting in and out of a chair

diagram showing how to get out of a chair after surgery

Practice getting in and out of a chair the day before your surgery.

Getting out of a chair

  • Slide or wiggle your bottom toward the edge of a chair.
  • Place your feet apart for a wide base of support.
  • Put your head forward so your nose is over your toes.
  • Put your hands on your thighs above your knees.
  • Stand up by using your leg muscles.
  • Do not use your hands to push off the chair.
diagram showing how to get into a chair after surgery

Getting into a chair

  • Back up to the chair until your legs touch the chair.
  • Lean your upper body forward.
  • Place your hands on your thighs for stability.
  • Bend your knees and squat down slowly until you are sitting in the chair.

Remember: Keep your feet apart for a wide base of support.


 

Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Surgery: What You Need to Know, surg-ahc-21686; Getting In and Out of Bed After Surgery, surg-ahc-11108

First published: 01/15/2011
Last updated: 01/15/2011

Reviewed by: Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts