Physiotherapy after thoracic surgery

The shape of the chest may be congenitally deformed, with a pit or elevated or asymmetrical. The chest may also require moulding after injury.

Chest deformity is not only a cosmetic discomfort; it can have an impact on the person’s breathing, mobility, daily survival and quality of life.

Your doctor will always evaluate the need for surgery and the possibility for cooperation between the patient and other healthcare staff. There are several surgery techniques available and the most suitable will be selected for each patient’s situation.

Treatment in Heart Hospital for chest surgery takes an average of 2-5 days. The length of recovery is unique and influenced by many factors. The length of the patient’s sick leave is always determined individually.

The physiotherapy of a patient scheduled for elective thoracic surgery begins even before the surgery, when the patient’s baseline situation is established by interviewing them and performing appropriate measurements and investigations.

The physiotherapist instructs the patient in post-surgery issues relevant to rehabilitation. With the patient’s approval, a relative or close friend may accompany them to these appointments.

Rehabilitation starts immediately after surgery, initially assisted. The patient’s own role grows gradually. The rehabilitation starts shortly after the operation in the ward and continues at home.

The patient is encouraged to stay upright and mobile for longer as their rehabilitation progresses. After anaesthesia and bedrest, it is important to get mobile and strengthen the breathing to prevent post-surgery complications.

Training of upper limbs and upper body is started at the hospital. There are certain limitations regarding the use of upper limbs and upper body during the first weeks/months after the procedure, for which the patient receives guidance at the hospital.

Good pain management is important for recovery. Post-surgery, attention should be paid to good, relaxed posture and symmetry of gait. The patient adheres to the instructions he has received in hospital until the agreed check-up. The first physiotherapy control is usually arranged at the patient’s own health centre about two weeks after the discharge. The doctor’s check-up in Heart Hospital is usually 1 month after surgery.

The physiotherapist and nursing staff guide the patient individually towards self-reliance after surgery.