Assessment of Abdominal Belts Impact on the Lungs Ventilation and Their Application in Early Physiotherapy after Major Abdominal Surgery – Prospective Trial

Open access


Early physiotherapy is an important part of the comprehensive treatment of patients after major abdominal surgery (MAS). Accelerated mobilization should be safe and requires the use of appropriate techniques. Most of the physiotherapists and surgeons recommends using abdominal belts. Opponents claim that belts have an adverse effect on lungs ventilation.

The aim of the study was to determine the effect of abdominal belt on lung ventilation efficiency in the early period after MAS.

Material and methods. The study involved 20 patients after MAS. Including 9 women and 11 men, aged between 40 to 90 years (x̅ 66.7). In the scheduled 7 patients and urgent 13. All of them were in the early period after surgery. Dynamic spirometry was performed twice in the postoperative period. For the first time wearing a belt, and then without the belt in the same group. Evaluated the forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) and peak expiratory flow (PEF). For the analysis uses the Wilcoxon matched-pairs test and Spearman’s rank correlations. P values <0.05 were considered significant.

Results. The value of the ventilation indicators measured wearing abdominal belt were slightly lower than the values evaluated without the belt. The results are shown in percent predicted for age and gender, FEV wearing belt 52%, without belt 53%; FEV1 59% vs 61%; PEF 46% vs 51%. There were no statistically significant differences

Conclusions. There were no significant negative influence of abdominal belt on lungs ventilation in early period after MAS. There was no correlations between age, body mass index and changes in ventilation indicators.

1. Castelino T, Fiore Jr. JF, Niculiseanu P et al.: The effect of early mobilization protocols on postoperative outcomes following abdominal and thoracic surgery: A systematic review. Surgery 2016; 159(4): 991‑1003.

2. Czyżewski P, Domaniecki J, Dąbek A, Kopytiuk R: The Influence of Physical Activity on Physiotherapy Effects After Abdominal Surgery in Elderly People. Adv Rehabil 2014; 27(3): 1.

3. Bouvier A, Rat P, Drissi-Chbihi F et al.: Abdominal binders after laparotomy: review of the literature and French survey of policies. Hernia J Hernias Abdom Wall Surg 2014; 18(4): 501-06.

4. Czyżewski P, Szczepkowski M, Domaniecki J, Dąbek A: Physiotherapy Based on PNF Concept for Elderly People After Conventional Colon Surgery. Pol J Surg 2013; 85(9): 475.

5. Shea RA , Brooks JA , Dayhoff NE , Keck J: Pain intensity and postoperative pulmonary complications among the elderly after abdominal surgery. Heart Lung J Acute Crit Care 2002; 31(6): 440‑49.

6. Pasquina P, Tramèr MR , Granier J-M, Walder B: Respiratory physiotherapy to prevent pulmonary complications after abdominal surgery*: A systematic review. Chest 2006; 130(6): 1887‑99

7. Silva YR , Li SK , Rickard MJ FX: Does the addition of deep breathing exercises to physiotherapydirected early mobilisation alter patient outcomes following high-risk open upper abdominal surgery? Cluster randomised controlled trial. Physiotherapy 2013; 99(3): 187-93.

8. Clay L, Gunnarsson U, Franklin KA , Strigård K: Effect of an elastic girdle on lung function, intraabdominal pressure, and pain after midline laparotomy: a randomized controlled trial. Int J Colorectal Dis 2014; 29(6): 715‑21.

9. Rothman JP, Gunnarsson U, Bisgaard T: Abdominal binders may reduce pain and improve physical function after major abdominal surgery - a systematic review. Dan Med J 2014; 61(11): A4941-A4941.

10. Larson CM , Ratzer ER , Davis-Merritt D, Clark JR : The effect of abdominal binders on postoperative pulmonary function. Am Surg 2009; 75(2): 169‑71.

11. Cheifetz O, Lucy SD , Overend TJ , Crowe J: The effect of abdominal support on functional outcomes in patients following major abdominal surgery: a randomized controlled trial. Physiother Can Physiothérapie Can 2010; 62(3): 242‑53

Polish Journal of Surgery

The Journal of Foundation of the Polish Journal of Surgery

Journal Information

CiteScore 2016: 0.29

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2016: 0.166
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2016: 0.207


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 206 206 11
PDF Downloads 100 100 6