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After Bypass Surgery: Getting Up and Out of Bed

After coronary artery bypass surgery, it's important to protect your incision and healing breastbone. Move carefully as you get up from sitting or as you get out of bed.

Getting up from sitting

Man sitting at front edge of chair preparing to stand up.

Man standing up from chair.

When you get up from a chair or couch, use your leg muscles, not your arms, to push your body up.

To stand up:

  1. Scoot to the front of the chair.

  2. Place one foot slightly in from of the other.

  3. Put your hands on your thighs.

  4. Bend forward from the hips and push your body up with your legs.

To sit down, use your leg muscles to lower yourself onto the front of the chair. Then use your leg muscles, not your arms, to scoot back.

Getting out of bed

Woman on side in bed, preparing to stand up.

Woman sitting at edge of bed preparing to stand up.

When you get in and out of bed, keep your shoulders and hips in line.

To get out of bed:

  • Lie on your back and slowly scoot to the edge of the bed.

  • Bend your knees slightly and roll slowly onto your side.

  • Carefully push your body up, using the elbow beneath you and the arm on the other side of your body.

  • At the same time, gently swing both legs to the floor.

  • Sit for a moment. This will help keep you from getting dizzy.

  • Put your hands on your thighs. Bend forward from the hips, and push your body up with your legs.

  • Don't use your arms to push up.

To get into bed, do the reverse.

Online Medical Reviewer: Fetterman, Anne, RN, BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Images reviewed by StayWell art team.
Online Medical Reviewer: Mancini, Mary, MD
Date Last Reviewed: 10/1/2016
© 2000-2019 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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