Soon after your surgery, a nurse or therapist will teach you breathing exercises. These keep your lungs clear, strengthen your breathing muscles, and help prevent complications.
The exercises include doing a deep-breathing exercise using a device called an incentive spirometer.
To do these exercises, you will breathe in through your mouth and not your nose. The incentive spirometer only works correctly if you breathe in through your mouth.
Relax and breathe out.
Make sure the device is upright and not tilted.
Inhale slowly and deeply.
Hold your breath long enough to keep the balls or disk raised for at least 3 seconds.
Some spirometers have an indicator to let you know that you are breathing in too fast. If the indicator goes off, breathe in more slowly.
Do this exercise every hour while you're awake, or as your healthcare provider tells you to.
You will also be taught coughing exercises and be asked to do them regularly on your own.