Effect of early mobilization on postoperative pulmonary complications in patients undergoing video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery on the esophagus
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Esophagectomy performed via thoracotomy is associated with a high rate of postoperative pulmonary complications. Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery at the esophagus (VATS-E) can reduce the rate of postoperative pulmonary complications. VATS-E is being increasingly implemented owing to its benefits. This procedure makes early patient mobilization possible, because there is minimal thoracic wall invasion, and thus, less postoperative pain. This study aimed to identify the efficacy of early mobilization in patients undergoing VATS-E.
We retrospectively reviewed the patients who underwent VATS-E between November 2008 and October 2016. All the patients underwent preoperative physiotherapy and postoperative early mobilization for standard perioperative management. We examined the relation between early mobilization and the factors affecting postoperative pulmonary complications and the duration of physiotherapy with regard to the surgical outcome of VATS-E.
A total of 118 patients who underwent VATS-E were assessed. The incidence of postoperative pulmonary atelectasis decreased with early mobilization, and earlier mobilization was associated with a better decrease (P < 0.001). Multiple logistic regression analysis identified the percentage of volume capacity [odds ratio (OR) 0.96; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.93–0.99] and initial walking (OR 1.82; 95% CI 1.40–2.48) as independent risk factors for postoperative pulmonary atelectasis. In addition, the presence or absence of atelectasis was found to reduce the necessary period of physiotherapy (P < 0.001).
Our results indicated that early mobilization reduces the incidence of postoperative pulmonary atelectasis, which may also contribute to early recovery in patients who undergo VATS-E.
KeywordsEarly mobilization Physiotherapy Thoracoscopic esophagectomy Esophageal cancer Postoperative pulmonary complications
The authors thank all the subjects who participated in this study. The authors are grateful to the surgeons, nurses, and staff of the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at Nagasaki University Hospital.
This study did not receive special funding.
Compliance with ethical standards
The Human Ethics Review Committee of Nagasaki University Hospital (Approval number: 13093051) approved this study. This work conforms to the guidelines set forth in the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000, concerning human and animal rights. Also, the authors followed the policy concerning informed consent as shown.
Conflict of interest
All the authors declare that they have no conflict of interest regarding the subject of this study.
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