It’s important to practice deep breathing and coughing after surgery. These exercises will help your breathing, clear your lungs, and lower your risk of pneumonia.
Breathe deeply and cough every hour while you’re awake for the first 2 to 3 days after minor surgery. It’s a good idea to continue these exercises until you return to your normal activities after your surgery. These exercises work better if you do them sitting up.
It’s also important to move and change your position often. These position changes help to make your breathing and coughing exercises work better.
Do these exercises every hour when you’re awake.
It’s best to do coughing exercises when you’re feeling comfortable. Check with your healthcare provider to see if it's OK for you to do the coughing exercises in this handout.
Foot and leg exercises, also help you to get better sooner and prevent problems like blood clots. You may also have SCD stockings (Sequential Compression Devices) on your legs. These stockings inflate and deflate to keep good blood flow in your legs.
Do the exercises every hour while you’re awake.
Credit: Alberta Hip and Knee Clinic 2019
Change your position every hour while awake, or as directed by your nurse. It’s important to move often to prevent problems like a lung infection, blood clots, and weak muscles.
If you have any questions about these exercises, please ask your physical therapist or nurse.
Current as of: September 29, 2022
Author: Provincial Physiotherapy Professional Practice Council, Alberta Health Services
This material is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified health professional. This material is intended for general information only and is provided on an "as is", "where is" basis. Although reasonable efforts were made to confirm the accuracy of the information, Alberta Health Services does not make any representation or warranty, express, implied or statutory, as to the accuracy, reliability, completeness, applicability or fitness for a particular purpose of such information. Alberta Health Services expressly disclaims all liability for the use of these materials, and for any claims, actions, demands or suits arising from such use.