Healthsheet

Postsurgical Coughing

Coughing

Deep breathing and coughing help keep your lungs clear. If you've had surgery or not, 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.

Holding a pillow against your incision will help to reduce the amount of discomfort that may happen with movement and deep breathing. Simply clearing your throat does not help to remove the mucus that may have settled deeper in your airway. Coughing multiple times in a row helps to remove the mucus more effectively and clear your lungs. It is important to do these coughing exercises as much as possible after surgery unless your healthcare team tells you not to. You may also be given other deep breathing exercises to do. These exercises should be done even after you return home from the hospital as you continue to recover.