The effect of breathing exercises on preventing postoperative atelectasis: A randomized controlled trial
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Aim: This study aims to assess the effect of pre-operative breathing exercises provided to patients undergoing open-heart operation on atelectasis development during the post-operative period. Method: This randomized controlled study was conducted with 48 patients hospitalized for open-heart surgery. Training was provided to the patients in the experimental group in the form of breathing exercises and spirometry and the instructed exercises were performed by the patients for 7 days before the operation. The patients in both groups were assessed in terms of atelectasis during post-operative days. Results: The proportion of atelectasis development on the post-op 0th day was 71% in the experimental group and 92% in the control group. In terms of average peripheral oxygen saturation, the patients in the experimental group had higher oxygen saturation than the patients in the control group (p<0.05). Conclusion: Though not at significant levels, this study found that, performing breathing exercises before the operation decreased atelectasis development, duration of extubation, length of time in intensive care and hospital discharge; thus, pre-operative breathing exercises were found to have a positive effect on patients during the post-operative period.