After Bypass Surgery: Prevent Swelling in Your Legs

After bypass surgery, it's common for your legs to swell a little. This is because extra fluid collects in the tissue when you are not moving around as much. To control the swelling:

  • Get up once an hour and walk around for a few minutes.

  • When you sit or lie down, put your feet on a footrest or on the arm of the couch. Your feet should be raised above the level of your heart. You can support your lower legs with pillows.

  • Your healthcare provider may also want you to wear elastic compression stockings (TED stockings) during the day. Take them off at night to sleep.

  • Call your healthcare provider right away if the swelling or pain gets worse in your calf or leg. Call 911 if you have shortness of breath or chest pain, or as directed by your healthcare provider.

Woman lying on couch with feet raised.

Online Medical Reviewer: Ronald Karlin MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Stacey Wojcik MBA BSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Steven Kang MD
Date Last Reviewed: 3/1/2022
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