Duke’s pulmonary rehabilitation programs help you regain control of breathing problems caused by moderate to severe lung disease. If you're being considered for lung transplant surgery, pulmonary rehabilitation is an important part of your candidacy by helping strengthen you for the surgery. It is also essential for your recovery after surgery.
Who Benefits from Pulmonary Rehabilitation?
Shortness of Breath and Fatigue from Lung Disease
If you have shortness of breath and fatigue due to chronic lung disease, you may be a candidate for pulmonary rehabilitation. This is true even if you are in a wheelchair, on oxygen, or have other physical limitations. Pulmonary rehabilitation won’t cure your disease or help you get off oxygen, but it can help you learn how to overcome shortness of breath and fatigue associated with exercise.
Stronger, Improved Breathing
Most participants feel better by the second week. Nearly all complete our programs and see improvement in their activities of daily living, including walking and climbing more stairs. As you get stronger and your breathing improves, depression and anxiety can decrease. Studies show that learning to use your medical therapies properly and following a personalized action plan -- both of which we teach in pulmonary rehab -- reduce hospital admissions.
Lung Transplant Candidates
All Duke candidates for lung transplant surgery are required to undergo pulmonary rehabilitation before and after lung transplant surgery. The program uses education, endurance exercise, strengthening, and counseling to help you prepare before you are placed on the lung transplant waitlist. Once you've been listed, we help condition your mind and body for surgery. After your lung transplant surgery, we help you recover and manage your medications and set you on the road to a lifelong exercise program.
Where you receive your care matters. Duke University Hospital is proud of our team and the exceptional care they provide. They are why our pulmonology and lung surgery program is nationally ranked, and the highest ranked program in North Carolina, according to U.S. News & World Report for 2021–2022.