Respiratory Rehabilitation – IRCCS San Raffaele

L’Respiratory Rehabilitation Operating Unit, Accredited with the National Health System, aims to recover, through precise rehabilitation programs, patients suffering from chronic lung diseases: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pulmonary fibrosis, pulmonary emphysema, chronic respiratory failure, bronchiectasis syndrome, bronchial asthma, sleep apnea syndrome, patients undergoing major thoracic surgery.

Such patients, who can no longer achieve improvement from medical treatment alone, should be initiated into rehabilitative practices that will allow restoration of lung function and eventual reintegration into the social environment. The execution of all programs is preceded by thorough respiratory and cardiological function assessments.

Physiokinesitherapeutic treatment consists of exercise training, training of respiratory muscles and selective muscle groups, as well as prolonged oxygen therapy, evaluation of 24-hour blood oxygen saturation, and, where serious clinical conditions dictate, noninvasive mechanical ventilatory support.

In addition, theOperative Unit has dedicated itself to the respiratory rehabilitation of patients undergoing or to undergo major thoracic surgery (this type of rehabilitation, of high specialty, is the result of a scientific-assistance agreement entered into with the Department of Thoracic Surgery of the “A. Gemelli” Polyclinic).

The execution of all programs is preceded by thorough spirographic, blood gas and cardiological investigations.

Respiratory Rehabilitation is in fact a branch of medicine that, through personalized multidisciplinary treatments, aims to improve the secondary damage of a variety of respiratory diseases by trying to recover the patient to an independent lifestyle and to reintegrate him/her, if possible, into the socio-familial and work environment. This rehabilitation discipline in recent decades has acquired the dignity of a scientific discipline in its own right, formulating its own evaluation methods (outcomes), and preparing individual treatment programs. Respiratory rehabilitation is primarily a method of preventing functional impairment; the aspects of rehabilitation treatment can be summarized as follows:

  • Patient education
  • Medical treatment
  • Therapeutic optimization
  • Metabolic compensation
  • Psychotherapy
  • FKT (physiokinesiotherapy)
  • Exercise re-training
  • Professional and social reintegration
  • Possible supports (long-term oxygen therapy, home ventilatory assistance).

Patient education aims at in-depth knowledge of the patient’s pathology, recovery options and the most appropriate lifestyle to adopt (smoking abolition, home environment remediation, possible removal of harmful stimuli, etc… ).