Postoperative pulmonary complications (PPCs) are the most common complication following thoracic surgery. PPCs are associated with prolonged hospital stay, increased morbidity, mortality, ICU admission, and healthcare costs (Azhar, 2015). Current preoperative optimization in this patient group includes smoking cessation and management of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease with inhaled bronchodilators and inhaled steroids as indicated. There have been studies using preoperative incentive spirometry in patients undergoing laparotomy with conflicting results, but scant data on its use in patients undergoing one-lung ventilation (Tyson, et al., 2015; Cattano, et al., 2010). A study from 2013 investigated the effectiveness of incentive spirometry in patients following thoracotomy and found conflicting results, without significant improvement in lung function or reduction in PPCs, but a larger difference in frequency of PPC was noted, indicating possible benefit to intervention and a need for further study (Agostini, et al., 2013). Volume-based incentive spirometry pre- and postoperatively has also been found to improve pulmonary function and diaphragm excursion in patients undergoing laparoscopic surgery (Alaparthi, et al., 2016). Patients customarily receive an incentive spirometer for use postoperatively in the PACU. There is scant data in the thoracic surgery population concerning prehabilitation by dispensing the incentive spirometer at the PACT evaluation.



Eligible Ages
Over 18 Years
Eligible Genders
Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion Criteria

  • Patients scheduled for thoracic surgery procedures involving one-lung ventilation
  • open thoracotomy
  • Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS)
  • Robotic-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (RATS)
  • Procedures to include: Lung resection for any purpose, esophagectomy, thymectomy
  • Patients undergoing esophagectomy performed by a general surgeon
  • Patients willing and able to independently perform incentive spirometry

Exclusion Criteria

  • Trauma patients
  • Lung Volume reduction surgery (LVRS)
  • In-Patients
  • Patients not undergoing one-lung ventilation
  • Patients undergoing thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm repair
  • Transhiatal esophagectomy (does not involve one-lung ventilation)
  • Lung transplantation

Study Design

Study Type
Intervention Model
Parallel Assignment
Primary Purpose
Supportive Care
None (Open Label)

Arm Groups

ArmDescriptionAssigned Intervention
No Intervention
Spirometry Group
  • Behavioral: Spirometry Group
    Patients that are provided the incentive spirometer pre-operatively and instructed to use it for 4 cycles of 10 spirometry attempts on the day prior to surgery

Recruiting Locations

University of Alabama at Birmingham
Birmingham, Alabama 35233
Adam B Sturdivant, MPH

More Details

University of Alabama at Birmingham

Study Contact

Adam B Sturdivant, MPH


Study information shown on this site is derived from ClinicalTrials.gov (a public registry operated by the National Institutes of Health). The listing of studies provided is not certain to be all studies for which you might be eligible. Furthermore, study eligibility requirements can be difficult to understand and may change over time, so it is wise to speak with your medical care provider and individual research study teams when making decisions related to participation.