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Postsurgical Coughing

Deep coughing helps keep your lungs clear. If you’ve had surgery, it will help you get better faster. It may also prevent a lung infection. If you have lung problems, it will help you breathe better. Follow the steps below.

Woman in nightgown sitting on edge of bed holding pillow to chest and abdomen.

Woman in nightgown sitting on edge of bed holding pillow to chest and abdomen. Large arrow shows her breathing in through nose.

Woman in nightgown sitting on edge of bed holding pillow to chest and abdomen. Two clouds near mouth show her coughing twice.

Step 1

  • Sit on the edge of a bed or a chair. Or lie on your back with your knees slightly bent.

  • Lean forward slightly. Hold a pillow firmly against your incision with both hands.

  • Breathe out normally.

Step 2

  • Breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose.

  • Then breathe out fully through your mouth. Repeat.

  • Take a third deep breath. Fill your lungs as much as you can.

Step 3

  • Cough 2 or 3 times in a row.

  • Try to push all of the air out of your lungs as you cough.

  • Then relax and breathe normally.

  • Repeat as directed.

 

Author: StayWell Custom Communications
Last Annual Review Date: 3/1/2010
Copyright © The StayWell Company, LLC. except where otherwise noted.
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