A Patient's Guide to Lung Surgery
Thoracotomy: Therapy and Exercises
Soon after your surgery, a nurse or therapist will teach you exercises to keep your lungs clear, strengthen your breathing muscles, and help prevent complications. The exercises include incentive spirometry, where you put your mouth around a plastic device and inhale as much air as you can. You will also be taught coughing and deep-breathing exercises and other breathing techniques, and be asked to perform them regularly on your own.
While you're in the hospital, your nurse or a physical therapist may teach you some range-of-motion exercises. These exercises help stretch and strengthen the muscles on the side of surgery to keep your shoulder moving freely. You may also be taught exercises you can continue to do at home while you heal.
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