Physiotherapy after aortic repair
The physiotherapy of a patient scheduled for elective aortic repair surgery begins even before the surgery, when the patient’s baseline situation is mapped by interviewing them and performing measurements and investigations.
The physiotherapist advises the patient on post-surgery issues relevant to rehabilitation. With the patient’s approval, a relative or close friend may accompany them to these appointments.
Rehabilitation starts immediately after surgery, at first assisted. The patient’s own role grows gradually. The first exercises are undertaken on the day of surgery in intensive care, on the patient’s bed. The exercises are repeated in the ward, later at the rehabilitation unit, and ultimately at home.
The patient benefits from becoming mobile early. The patient is first helped from their bed on the day following the operation. For two months after the surgery, a patient who has been operated through the breastbone must get out of bed by rolling slowly onto one side using the technique learned at the hospital.
Becoming mobile in the hospital is medicine. On the day after surgery, the patient gets up, assisted. On the second day after surgery, the patient may already walk assisted if their condition permits it. The patient’s upright position and mobility are gradually increased as their rehabilitation progresses. After anaesthesia and bed rest, it is important for the patient to get mobile and strengthen their breathing to aid recovery from surgery and prevent post-operative complications.
The patient’s level of exercise after surgery and recovery phase is determined by the underlying causes of their aortic repair surgery.
The physiotherapist and nursing staff instruct each patient individually on self-care after aortic repair surgery.