Dr. Gloria Mendizabal-Piedra MD

(305) 823-2433

3986 W. 16 Avenue | Hialeah, FL 33012

Why Breathing Exercises Are Important After Having Surgery

After your surgery, your doctor will give you instructions on what exercises to do regularly that will help you recover quicker and get back to normal life. Below, we share information about the importance of breathing exercises that help you feel like your old self.

Most surgeries are done under anesthesia. With it, you are put to sleep and your breathing is slower. The breaths you take aren’t as deep as your normal breaths that you take when you’re active. These breaths keep little air sacs, known as alveoli, in your lungs from filling with oxygen. After the surgery, these air sacs can flatten and stick together. Just imagine several balloons with water after you let the water out.

You need to get air back to the alveoli and open them up. That’s when breathing exercises can help. Taking deep breaths and holding your breath makes the sides of alveoli pop apart and let the air in. If you don’t do this, you may have complications such as pneumonia.

Breathing exercises do the following:

  • open air passages and makes coughing easier;
  • move air in the lungs;
  • help the oxygen and blood supply get to your lungs, improve circulation;
  • decrease the risk of complications.

Breathing exercises help bring up mucus from your lungs. As you do the exercises, you may hear the rattling sound or feel something in your throat. Always cough if it occurs.

How To Do Breathing Exercises

Breathing exercises are easy to do and you can perform them by relaxing your chest and shoulders. Take a deep breath, hold it for a couple of seconds and breathe out slowly. Repeat this 5 times. Don’t take too many breaths and don’t hurry or you will feel dizzy.

Perform this exercise several times a day. If you can sit or stand without help, take a deep breath and raise your arms over your head. Slowly breathe out as you lower your arms back down. Repeat it 5 times.

While you’re still in the hospital, your doctor may also prescribe positive expiratory pressure therapy. This therapy uses a special device with a mouthpiece that you should breathe through 10 times. When you breathe out, this device creates pressure in the lungs to help open alveoli and airways deep in your lungs that could otherwise be closed because of blockage. If you combine this therapy with daily breathing exercises, your recovery will go much more smoothly because you will remove any mucus in the lungs.

Regular breathing exercises help relax and relieve pain. If you have recently had abdominal or chest surgery, you can press a pillow against your incision to decrease the level of discomfort from breathing or coughing. Of course, if you are in pain and can’t take deep breaths, let your therapist know so your condition can be controlled and you can continue with your normal life.

If you have any questions about what to do after surgery, do not hesitate to call us. Our experienced, careful, and professional staff will do our utmost to ensure that you are living as you want to live. At GMP Medical, we are on the bleeding edge of many new medical techniques. Call us today.

July 13, 2017 4:59 pm
Categories: Senior Health