How do you prevent atelectasis after abdominal surgery?

Can abdominal surgery cause atelectasis?

Atelectasis is a common pulmonary complication in patients following thoracic and upper abdominal procedures. General anesthesia and surgical manipulation lead to atelectasis by causing diaphragmatic dysfunction and diminished surfactant activity. The atelectasis is typically basilar and segmental in distribution.

What causes atelectasis after surgery?

General anesthesia is a common cause of atelectasis. It changes your regular pattern of breathing and affects the exchange of lung gases, which can cause the air sacs (alveoli) to deflate. Nearly everyone who has major surgery develops some amount of atelectasis.

What’s the best treatment for atelectasis?


  • Performing deep-breathing exercises (incentive spirometry) and using a device to assist with deep coughing may help remove secretions and increase lung volume.
  • Positioning your body so that your head is lower than your chest (postural drainage). …
  • Tapping on your chest over the collapsed area to loosen mucus.

What position prevents atelectasis?

Tilt the person so the head is lower than the chest (called postural drainage). This allows mucus to drain more easily. Treat a tumor or other condition. Turn the person to lie on the healthy side, allowing the collapsed area of lung to re-expand.

How long can atelectasis last after surgery?

[8,18] The atelectasis can exceed 15–20%. The degree of atelectasis can be even more in obese patients. In the case of abdominal surgeries, the atelectasis can persist for several weeks postoperatively.

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Which of the following procedures produces the highest risk of atelectasis?

Atelectasis is more prominent after cardiac surgery with cardio-pulmonary bypass than after other types of surgery, including thoracotomies; however, patients undergoing abdominal and/or thoracic procedures are at increased risk of developing atelectasis.

What are the risk factors for atelectasis?

Risk factors for atelectasis include anesthesia, prolonged bed rest with few changes in position, shallow breathing and underlying lung disease. Mucus that plugs the airway, foreign objects in the airway (common in children) and tumors that obstruct the airway may lead to atelectasis.

Can atelectasis be permanent?

After treatment, a collapsed lung usually begins working the way it should again. But atelectasis can cause permanent damage in some cases.