Chest physiotherapy during immediate postoperative period among patients undergoing upper abdominal surgery: randomized clinical trial.

Manzano RM, Carvalho CR, Saraiva-Romanholo BM, Vieira JE

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of chest physiotherapy during the immediate postoperative period among patients undergoing elective upper abdominal surgery. Thirty-one adults were randomly assigned to control and chest physiotherapy groups. Spirometry, pulse oximetry and anamneses were performed preoperatively and on the second postoperative day. A visual pain scale was applied on the second postoperative day, before and after chest physiotherapy. The chest physiotherapy group received treatment at the post-anesthesia care unit, while the controls did not. Surgery duration, length of hospital stay and postoperative pulmonary complications were gathered from patients' medical records.

The results showed that chest physiotherapy during the immediate postoperative period following upper abdominal surgery was effective for improving oxygen-hemoglobin saturation without increased abdominal pain. Breathing exercises could be adopted at post-anesthesia care units with benefits for patients.

Sao Paulo Med J. 2008 Sep;126(5):269-73

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