Benefits of Early Mobilization following Surgery

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"Benefits of Early Mobilization following Surgery"
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In many surgical procedures, after one or two days of minimal movements and gentle turning, patients will be advised to undergo slow mobilization within their limits and depending on the surgical intervention as well as patient state. The necessity to encourage such early mobilization arise from the fact that, tissue recovery as well as returning of the normal day to day functions would depend on the movements that takes place at the initial phase of post operative recovery. Thus, knowing what benefits it will bring would be useful in being motivated to do so even with slightest of discomfort at this time.

At the same time, a patient should remember to follow the advice given by the surgeon and the physiotherapist, who will guide them on appropriate movements at the right time and in the right pace.

We will now look at some of the benefits that can be gained by engaging in early mobilization as appropriate.

* Prevention of deep vein thrombosis (DVT)

Being a rare complication occurring in susceptible individuals who undergo major surgical procedures, it’s relatively common in surgeries involving the hips, lower limbs…etc. The condition is characterized by formation of blood clots in the lower limb veins and thus giving rise to local effects as well as causing distant organ damage following its dislodge.

Maintaining mobility of the lower limbs will help the lower limb muscles to pump the blood without pooling in the lower limb and thus prevent the formation of clots.

The patients who are having increased risk of developing DVT are advised to undertake even passive exercises to prevent such blood pooling and in prolonged immobilization one should be vigilant on signs appearing in the early stages of the disease.

* Relieves the abdominal discomfort and improves the appetite

The mobilization will help the bowels to move and the gases to be expelled thus eliminating the discomfort of abdominal distension, constipation as well as improves the appetite.

* Prevents joint stiffness and contractures

Following a surgery, the tissues will be re-growing in order to bridge the deficiencies or to strengthen the surgical site. These new tissues would not be as strong and elastic as what was in existence and thus will require stimulation on how stiff they should be growing and how elastic they should be. The stimulation is given by means of mobilization and this is extra important to prevent stiff joints, restricted degree of movement and immobility associated following certain surgical procedures.

* Improved mental state and motivation to recover

It is of paramount importance that surgical patients build up their mental state in order to tackle the slow recovery process. This is vital in early recovery and gaining functional normalcy. Thus, early mobilization should support a mental recovery and thus the early surgical recovery as well.

More about this author: Dr Pandula Siribaddana

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