Rapid Recovery Book

Pulmonary Services Department Pre - OP Therapep Information Sheet Post Operative PEP Therapy

What is Therapep? Therapep is a breathing exercise used after surgery for patients to encourage deep breathing to help prevent respiratory complications. Why do I need Pep Therapy? Your post - op recovery will require you to rest in bed at home or in the hospital. During your recovery time after surgery, you will not be as active as you normally are when you feel well. This inactivity allows the tiny air sacs of your lungs to become clogged with mucus or collapses creating a condition known as atelectasis. If you run a low grade temperature or remain inactive for along period of time without taking deep breaths and coughing frequently, you will develop pneumonia. How does Pep Therapy work? The Therapep device works by creating “back pressure” in the lungs to hold the airways and small air sacs open so that fresh air can get down into the lungs and mucus can be moved up the larger airways of your lungs so you can cough it out more effectively. If you or a family member play a musical instrument, then you will recognize the feeling of the “back pressure” created as you blow into a horn. How often should I do my Therapep Therapy? Your doctor will prescribe a frequency for you. We recommend that you do your PEP therapy every two hours (during the daytime) for the first two days after surgery. This will allow time for you to regain some strength and begin sitting in a chair and walking again. If your doctor prescribes respiratory therapy treatment for you after surgery, your PEP therapy will be done after your breathing treatment or in conjunction with your treatment. If you take treatments at home, you should use your PEP therapy with your home treatments as well. How do I do PEP Therapy The day of your surgery a respiratory therapist will instruct you on how to use the device before you go to surgery. We will also assist and follow your progress after surgery if you are admitted. The proper technique for PEP therapy is to do three sets of ten breaths or “blows” into the mouthpiece. Keep the blue column in the tower of the device between the two black lines during your exhalation. Start the device on level #6 and work your way up to level #1 or the most difficult level.

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