Background: We planned to investigate the effect of preoperative short period intensive physical therapy on lung functions, gas-exchange, and capacity of diffusion, and ventilation-perfusion distribution of patients with non-small cell lung cancer.
Methods: Sixty patients with lung cancer, who were deemed operable, were randomly allocated into two groups. Intensive physical therapy was performed in patients in the study group before operation. Both groups received routine physical therapy after operation.
Results: There was no difference in pulmonary function tests between the two groups. Intensive physical therapy statistically significantly increased peripheral blood oxygen saturation. At least one complication was noted in 5 patients (16.7%) in the control group, and 2 (6.7%), in the study group. However, there was no statistically significant difference (p = 0,4). The hospital stay has been found to be statistically significantly shortened by intensive physical therapy (p <0.001). Ventilation-perfusion distribution was found to be significantly effected by intensive physical therapy. The change was prominent in the the contralateral lung (p <0.001).
Conclusions: Intensive physical therapy appeared to increase oxygen saturation, reduce hospital stay, and change the ventilation/perfusion distribution. It had a significant, positive effect on the exercise capacity of patients.
2011 The Editorial Committee of Annals of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery