About Deep Inspiration Breath Hold (DIBH) and the Visual Coaching Device

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This video describes deep inspiration breath hold (DIBH). It also describes the visual coaching device you can use during your radiation treatments with DIBH.

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In this video, we’ll describe Deep Inspiration Breath Hold, or DIBH for short, and the Visual Coaching Device you can use during your radiation treatments with DIBH.

What is deep inspiration breath hold?

DIBH is when you breathe in deeply and hold your breath during your radiation treatments. Holding your breath helps your body move less, which helps us make sure the radiation goes only where it needs to.

What is the visual coaching device?

The visual coaching device is a screen that will guide you as you use DIBH. It will be mounted on the treatment table above your head during your radiation treatments.

On the screen, you’ll see a white bar that moves up and down as you breathe. You’ll also see a green highlighted area, called the green zone. When the entire white bar is in the green zone, you’re in the right position for treatment.

What is your role in your treatment?

During your radiation treatments, your radiation therapists will ask you to take a deep breath and hold it. Breathe in until the entire white bar is in the green zone, then hold your breath for as long as you comfortably can. The radiation beam will automatically turn on when the entire white bar is in the green zone.

If you need to rest, it’s OK to let your breath out and breathe normally. The radiation will automatically turn off when the white bar moves out of the green zone.

Your radiation therapists will ask you to use DIBH several times throughout your treatment. Take your time, and only hold your breath for as long as you’re comfortable. Remember to keep as still as you can. This is important so we can make sure the radiation goes only where it needs to.

If watching the screen makes you feel dizzy or like you’re going to throw up, tell your radiation therapists. They can take it away and use their voice to guide you through the rest of your treatment.

If you have any questions about deep inspiration breath hold or the visual coaching device, ask a member of your care team.

For more information, visit www.mskcc.org/pe to search our virtual library of educational materials for patients and caregivers.

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