Articles, Blog

My Surgery Guide: Deep Breathing & Coughing Exercises

November 9, 2019


Hello, and welcome to the University Health
Network. Today I’m going to be teaching you about deep breathing and coughing. Amanda: Hello Mr. Santos. How are you today? Mr: Santos: Pretty well, thanks. Amanda: Good. My name is Amanda and I am a
physiotherapist on the unit and today I am going to be teaching you about your deep breathing
and coughing exercises, which are very important to do after your surgery to keep your lungs
clear. Mr: Santos: Ok. What do I have to do? Amanda: We’ll start by having you sit up nice
and straight. Good. Now what I’d like you to do is take a deep breath in through your
nose and out through pursed lips, like this. You try. Mr: Santos: Ok. Here goes. (breathes) Amanda: OK. That was a good start. I’d like
you to try to breathe more deeply this time. So, as you take a breath in, I’d like your
ribs to expand sideways as your lungs fill up with air.
Mr. Santos: Ok. (breathes) Amanda: Very good! Let’s try that two more
times. Mr. Santos: (breathes)
Amanda: Excellent. Now when you take a deep breath in, I’d like you to hold it for a count
of 3, and then slowly exhale. Something like this: (demonstrates). You try.
Mr. Santos: Ok. (breathes) Amanda: Very good (counts). Now, in addition
to your deep breathing, it’s important that you are coughing regularly as well. What I
am going to suggest is that you hold a pillow against your incision, which will provide
a little support and alleviate some of the discomfort that might be associated with coughing.
And, then again, I’d like you to take a deep breath through your nose and cough twice,
like this (demonstrates) Mr: Santos: Ok. Let’s try that. (breathes
and coughs) Amanda: Good. How was your pain when you did
that? Mr: Santos: Actually, it hurt a little bit. Amanda: Did it? It’s bound to hurt somewhat.
But, if you’re finding the pain is too great, such that you’re not wanting to cough, it’s
important that you let your nurse or doctor know and they can give you some pain medication
before you do your coughing exercises. Mr: Santos: Ok. Is it important to do these
things? Amanda: It is extremely important to do them
after your surgery, and in addition to that, they should be done regularly. So, what I’ll
suggest is that you do your coughing and breathing exercises 3 to 5 times every hour that you
are awake. Mr: Santos: Alright, and, should I do them
at home? Amanda: Absolutely. After you’re discharged
home, it’s a good idea to do these exercises for the first two weeks, for the same reasons
you were doing them here in hospital. Do you have any other questions? Mr: Santos: I can’t think of any. Amanda: Good. It’s very nice meeting you. Mr: Santos: Thank you.
Amanda: You’re welcome. Deep breathing and coughing exercises are
extremely important for you to do regularly after your surgery. They can be done while
you’re in bed, in a chair, or while you’re up walking about. Thank you for watching this
video; we hope that you have found it helpful.

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