Exercises to do before and after your vascular surgery


The following exercise program was designed to help you regain your mobility and independence as quickly as possible after your surgery.

The program has two components:

  1. A “preoperative” section with exercises that you need to do during the weeks before your surgery 
  2. A “postoperative” section with exercises to do after your surgery. You must regularly do this program 3 times a day.

If the described exercise is too difficult, perform it according to your ability.

Walking

Don’t forget that walking is one of the best exercises both before and after your surgery. Before your surgery, you must stay active and walk as much as possible according to your ability. 

Once your care team determines that you can move around safely after your operation, you will need to progressively develop your tolerance to walking by increasing the time and distance you move around according to your ability.

Rehabilitation program before your operation

1 – Isometric quadriceps exercise

Isometric quadriceps exercise
Isometric quadriceps exercise

Lie down on your back on a mat with your legs extended. Contract the muscles in both thighs as hard as you can. Try to raise both heels off your bed while keeping the backs of your knees on the mat. Hold the contraction for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times.

2 – Bridge

Bridge
Bridge

Lie down on your back with both legs extended. Lift your buttocks while making sure that you don’t arch your back. Hold the contraction for 5 seconds, lower your buttocks slowly, and repeat 10 times.

3 – Triceps exercise

Triceps exercise
Triceps exercise

Sit on a chair with armrests, with your trunk tilted slightly forward and with your hands supported on the armrests. Push on the armrests to raise your buttocks off the seat. Hold the contraction for 5 seconds, lower slowly and repeat 10 times.

Rehabilitation program after the operation

1 – Breathing

Breathing
Breathing

Lie on your back or sit upright; inhale deeply through your nose and fill your stomach.  Exhale from your mouth. Repeat 10 times.

2 – Ankle flexion and extension

Ankle flexion and extension
Ankle flexion and extension

Lie down on your back or sit with your legs extended. Perform the exercise with both legs at the same time. Pull your toes toward you for 5 seconds and then point them away from you very hard for 5 seconds. Repeat 10 times.

3 – Isometric quadriceps exercise

Isometric quadriceps exercise
Isometric quadriceps exercise

Lie down on your back on a mat with your legs extended. Contract the muscles in both thighs as hard as you can. Try to raise both heels off your bed while keeping the backs of your knees on the mat. Hold the contraction for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times.

Images of these exercises come from Physiotec.