New Evidence Shows No Benefit to Incentive Spirometry After Bariatric Surgery

January 25, 2017

Incentive spirometry has no effect on postoperative hypoxemia or oxygen saturation level following bariatric surgery and therefore should not be routinely recommended, researchers in Massachusetts now say. “Despite the almost universal use of incentive spirometers to prevent pulmonary complications, little evidence exists as to their effectiveness,” Dr. Haddon Pantel of Lahey Hospital and Medical Center in Burlington told Reuters Health.  To investigate, Dr. Pantel and colleagues recruited 224 patients (22% male, mean age 46) and randomized them to postoperative clinical observation (test group) or standard of care, which is use of incentive spirometry 10 times per hour while the patient is awake (control group).