Published: 2021-05-27

Effect of post-operative physiotherapy intervention following decortication and bullectomy: a case report

Titiksha Pol


Decortication surgery is indicated in case of thickened pleural layer leading to atelectasis of the underlying lung parenchyma. It is done to prevent further restriction of the lung parenchyma. Atelectasis and collapse of lung following decortication is a common complication following the surgery. Chest physiotherapy following decortication helps in preventing the damage to the lungs and also helps in maintaining and regaining good lung function post-surgery. We present a case of right lung decortication surgery with bullectomy where various physiotherapy intervention and techniques were started early post-surgery to attain good lung expansion and prevent complications. Physiotherapy interventions like segmental breathing exercises, chest proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation techniques, lung expansion exercises, unilateral expansion exercises, use of incentive spirometer, airway clearance techniques, resistance training and early mobilisation showed significant improvement in the chest excursion and expansion along with improved inspiratory capacity. Along with this it also helps in reducing the length of ICU (Intensive care unit) stay. Physiotherapy along with early mobilisation when started in the early postoperative period following decortications and bullectomy surgeries is useful to obtain better outcomes and shorten length of ICU stay.


Chest physiotherapy, Decortication, Bullectomy, Lung expansion exercises, Unilateral lung expansion exercise, Chest PNF

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