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

  • Call your doctor right away if the swelling or pain gets worse in your calf or leg. Also call if you have shortness of breath or chest pain that does not go away with rest for 20 minutes, or as directed by your healthcare provider.

Woman lying on couch with feet raised.

Online Medical Reviewer: John Hanrahan MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Jonas DeMuro MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Lu Cunningham RN BSN
Date Last Reviewed: 8/1/2019
© 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.