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Pulmonary rehabilitation is a medically supervised program for people who have chronic lung diseases. It may also be used before or after lung surgery. Some of the lung conditions of participants include:
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including emphysema and chronic bronchitis
Interstitial lung disease, such as sarcoidosis and fibrosis
The goals of pulmonary rehabilitation are to help people:
Have less symptoms and fewer complications
Need less emergency department visits and hospital stays
Improve their daily function
Be as independent as possible
Have a better quality of life
Pulmonary rehabilitation programs may be held at hospitals or other facilities. They may be for inpatients or outpatients. Many skilled healthcare professionals may be part of the pulmonary rehabilitation team, including the following specialists:
Pulmonologist, a lung disease specialist
Thoracic (chest) surgeon
Physiatrist, a rehabilitation specialist
Dietitians or nutritionists
Other therapists and counselors
Pulmonary rehabilitation programs are individualized for each person. Patients and their families are actively involved.
Pulmonary rehabilitation programs may include the following:
Help with medicine
Breathing exercises to improve lung function and ability to take part in daily activities
Stretching exercises to improve flexibility
Weight training to improve muscle strength, and increase exercise endurance and conditioning
Exercise machines, such as stationary bicycles, treadmills, and other equipment
Patient and family education and counseling including disease information and self-management skills
Help to stop smoking
Stress management and emotional support
Assistance with home respiratory equipment, like oxygen and nebulizers
Job or work counseling
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