Background

In the recent year’s preoperative rehabilitation is gaining in importance. It is intended for patients that are found too risky for operation because of poor baseline status and low exercise capacity with weak muscle strength. Patients are because of that often referred to pulmonary rehabilitation program with the intention to improve their exercise tolerance, increase peripheral and respiratory muscle strength, reduce peri and post-operative complications and enhance postoperative recovery. Pulmonary rehabilitation is a comprehensive multidisciplinary intervention/program, designed to improve physical and psychological condition of people with chronic respiratory disease. Exercise training is the fundamental of the program with added education, behavioural change, nutritional and psychological help. In University Clinic of Pulmonary and Allergic Diseases Golnik we have started with the pulmonary rehabilitation program in 2006. Majority of our patients enrolled in the program are patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. We also enrol patients with interstitial lung disease and other chronic lung diseases like asthma, bronchiectasis etc. In the recent years also the number of patients who are referred to our program because of preoperative rehabilitation is increasing. These are patients who are candidates or are in preparation period for eventual lung transplantation, patients with COPD who are candidates for lung volume reduction surgery etc. The program and level of physical activities is individually adjusted to each patient according to their initial physical performance.

Keywords: rehabilitation, exercise tolerance, muscle strength.

Conclusion

In my lecture I will describe the content of our pulmonary rehabilitation program. Our results and also results of some of the selected preoperative patients.

At the moment in Slovenia pulmonary rehabilitation program is not paid as such from the health insurance. This of course limits the number of centres that perform pulmonary rehabilitation program. Consequently, also the number of patients referred and accepted to the program is too low.

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