Improvements in surgical technique, immunosuppressive therapy, as well as pre/post -operative care have enabled patients with respiratory disease to undergo lung transplantation. In most cases, the only treatment option for those suffering from an end-stage lung disease is a lung transplant. Lung transplants offer those who are suffering from a progressive lung disease the opportunity to not only extend, but improve the quality of their lives.
At Breathing Center of Houston, we specialize in providing rehabilitation to those in the pre-operative, as well as post-operative, phases of a lung transplant. The patient’s underlying disease will always be taken into consideration in determining proper medical management, as we have developed disease-specific approaches to patient care.
Our primary goal of pre-transplant rehabilitation is to optimize and maintain the patient’s functional status while continuing to closely monitor the underlying disease. During the time the patient is waiting for a transplant, the disease can progress, requiring reassessment and modifications in the patient’s exercise program, medication, and oxygen prescription. We understand that waiting for a transplant can be a lengthy process, but we are committed to our patients and will be there every step of the way.
The goals of rehabilitation in this phase include: optimizing airway clearance and lung expansion post extubation, decreasing the requirements for supplemental oxygen, and improving stability in the erect posture. In addition, we work with patients on strengthening upper and lower extremities while monitoring oxygen saturation levels and emphasizing postural awareness and breathing efficiency.