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Invited Commentary
January 11, 2017

Incentive Spirometry After Bariatric SurgeryYes or No?

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Surgery, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
JAMA Surg. Published online January 11, 2017. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2016.4999

Since the 1950s, deep breathing exercises have been thought to reduce postoperative pulmonary complications after abdominal operations. The incentive spirometer was designed in the 1970s to assist patients in performing appropriate deep breathing through visual feedback.1

Incentive spirometry (IS) is used commonly after surgical procedures.2 However, previous meta-analyses in 19943 and 20014 and a Cochrane review in 20145 did not find a benefit to IS in preventing postoperative pulmonary complications. Still, IS is believed to be the standard of care and is included in emerging enhanced recovery pathways for bariatric surgery.6

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