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 can help you meet the requirements for the lung transplant waiting list, strengthen you for the surgery, and help you recover from the procedure.
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 are a potential candidate for pulmonary rehabilitation. This is true whether you are in a wheelchair, on oxygen, or otherwise physically impaired. Pulmonary rehabilitation won’t cure your disease or help you get off oxygen. But we can help you learn how to overcome the shortness of breath and fatigue you associate with exercise.
Stronger, Improved Breathing
Nearly all of our participants feel better by the second week. Nearly all complete our programs and see improvement in their activities of daily living, including being able to walk in the mall and climb more stairs. As you get stronger and your breathing improves, depression and anxiety also decrease. And, 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 wait list. 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.
When it comes to your care, you want the very best. Duke University Hospital's nationally ranked pulmonology and lung surgery program was named best in North Carolina by U.S. News & World Report for 2019–2020.