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Mobility techniques

After surgery, you may need to move differently until your incision heals. Practice the following techniques before surgery so you know what to do after surgery.

Getting in and out of bed

  • Back up until you feel the bed against the back of your legs.
  • Use your legs to lower yourself to the edge of the bed into a sitting position. Place your hands next to you on the bed to give you more support.
  • Scoot back onto the bed.
  • Lean towards your side. Keeping your legs bent, lift one leg onto the bed.
  • Continue to lie down on to your side and bring the other leg up on the bed.
  • If you want to lie on your side, move your hips away from the edge of the bed. Be sure to keep your knees bent.
  • If you want to lie on your back, do a log roll (roll all in one movement) to your back. Keep your knees bent and together as you roll.
  • To get out of bed, log roll all the way onto your side. Keep your knees bent and together.
  • Push on the bed with your hands and bring your legs over the edge of the bed to come to a sitting position.
  • Push with your hands and scoot to the edge of the bed.
  • Use your legs to stand and push off the bed with your hands and stand up.

Getting on and off a chair

  • To sit down, back up until you feel the chair against the back of your legs.
  • Reach back for the armrests with both hands.
  • Use your arms and legs to lower yourself to the chair.
  • To get off the chair, push off the armrests while leaning forward slightly. Push yourself up with your arms and legs.

Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Understanding Your Colon or Rectal Surgery, can-ah-95399
First Published: 01/24/2013
Last Reviewed: 08/15/2017