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Rev Esp Anestesiol Reanim. 1990 Nov-Dec;37(6):321-5.

[Ineffectiveness of incentive spirometry as coadjuvant of conventional physiotherapy for the prevention of postoperative respiratory complications after thoracic and esophageal surgery].

[Article in Spanish]

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Departamento de Anestesiología y Reanimación, Hospital de Bellvitge Prínceps d'Espanya, L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona.


We have studied the efficacy of routine use of incentive spirometry (IS) in two groups of patients: group 1 (n = 18) with IS, and group 2 (n = 19), no IS. All patients suffered from lung or esophagus neoplasm and received respiratory physiotherapy before and after the operation. They underwent high chest and abdomen surgery. The incidence of alterations of pulmonary auscultation, roentgenologic abnormalities and alterations of the alveolar-arterial difference of oxygen (D[A-a]O2) as well as postoperative complications were similar in both groups. Patients undergoing digestive surgery presented a higher frequency of pleural effusion (p less than 0.05) and of them, the subgroup with IS stayed at the hospital for a longer time (47.2 +/- 32 days) than the subgroup undergoing digestive surgery not submitted to IS (p less than 0.01) probably because of the higher incidence of neoplasms of the mean third of the esophagus in such group. In our study and in the context of the type of surgery studied, the routine use of IS does not decrease the frequency of clinical and roentgenologic alterations neither improves the efficacy of postoperative gas interchange.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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