“The physiotherapist supports patients to optimise fitness, mobility, and weight loss prior to surgery through motivational interviewing, collaborative goal-setting and physical activity.”


The role of the physiotherapist is important in preparing the patient for surgery but also reducing and preventing some complications after bariatric surgery. Individualised therapeutic programs incorporate training relevant to the health status of the obese patient and take into account pre-existing comorbidities.


Chest physiotherapy is especially important in the postoperative period as it assists in removing excess lung secretions, and re-educate respiratory muscles to improve overall ventilation of the lungs. The aim is to allow the patient to breathe more freely and increase oxygen intake.


The types of chest physiotherapy include

  • Postural drainage
  • Chest percussion
  • Chest vibration
  • Turning
  • Deep breathing exercises
  • Coughing


Physiotherapy is also pivotal within the surgical journey by promoting early ambulation and return to function for our bariatric patients.


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Andrea Biffi


Obesity Unit South Africa