Breathing Exercises for Lung Expansion 

Thoracic expansion exercises and incentive spirometry are designed to expand the lung after anaesthetic/surgery, and will improve post-op breathlessness. The effects of these breathing exercises are enhanced by being as mobile as possible, walking to the point of breathlessness.

Thoracic Expansion Exercises

  • Deep, slow, inspiration with 4 second breath hold
  • Frequency: 10 x per hour during waking hours
  • perform in side lying – operated lung upwards (unless otherwise instructed), or sitting upright

Incentive Spirometry

  • Slow, deep inspiration through mouthpiece, 6 second hold. Keep the flow marker within smiley face, whilst reaching maximal level on the volume scale
  • 10 x per hour when awake
  • Best performed sitting upright
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