Tracheal Diseases: Follow-Up Care

At Memorial Sloan Kettering, we offer rehabilitation services for people after surgery as well as for those receiving outpatient treatment for tracheal diseases.

Postoperative Pulmonary Program

To help patients recover immediately after surgery, Memorial Sloan Kettering offers a Postoperative Pulmonary Program led by a multidisciplinary team of respiratory experts, physical therapists, nurses, and doctors. This program aims to help you return to your normal routine as quickly as possible.

Physical Therapy

After your surgery, Memorial Sloan Kettering's experienced physical therapists will perform a comprehensive chest physical therapy evaluation that focuses on coughing, deep breathing, and management of phlegm (thick mucous that lines the airway and lungs). In addition, we will evaluate your mobility, including your ability to get out of bed and walk.

Based on this evaluation, you will be given an individualized treatment plan that addresses any movement challenges and outlines the goals of your physical therapy. This proactive approach to postoperative care — including chest physical therapy, mobility, and exercise — will maximize your breathing function and ability to walk long distances, with the goal of helping you return home feeling steady and strong.

Although most patients are discharged to their homes, occasionally some people require additional rehabilitation prior to going home. Your physical therapist will be involved in making recommendations regarding the most appropriate discharge plan for you.

Respiratory Therapy

Our respiratory therapists will work with you to assess breathing and deliver treatments as guided by your physician. Some treatments include oxygen therapy and medication that is inhaled through a nebulizer (a device that turns liquid medication into a mist that can be inhaled by mouth). This medication helps open up the airways and makes it easier to clear out phlegm.

Our therapists are also able to assist in your transition from the hospital to your home. In addition, we work with patients who are undergoing a type of respiratory treatment known as continuous positive airway pressure therapy (CPAP).

Speech, Hearing, and Rehabilitation Program

Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Speech, Hearing, and Rehabilitation Program provides a variety of services to help restore your everyday functioning and enhance your quality of life. Speech and swallowing therapists are key members of the rehabilitation team after treatment for tracheal diseases.

Smoking Cessation Program

If you smoke, you will be asked to stop while you undergo treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering for a tracheal or bronchial disease. This will make your treatment safer and more effective.

We also offer smoking cessation programs to help you manage nicotine cravings and withdrawal symptoms so you can quit for good.