The changes in body position can cause changes in lung function, and it is necessary to understand them, especially in the postoperative upper abdominal surgery, since these patients are susceptible to postoperative pulmonary complications.
To assess the vital capacity in the supine position (head at 0° and 45°), sitting and standing positions in patients in the postoperative upper abdominal surgery.
A cross-sectional study conducted between August 2008 and January 2009 in a hospital in Salvador/BA. The instrument used to measure vital capacity was analogic spirometer, the choice of the sequence of positions followed a random order obtained from the draw of the four positions. Secondary data were collected from the medical records of each patient.
The sample consisted of 30 subjects with a mean age of 45.2 ± 11.2 years, BMI 20.2 ± 1.0 kg/m2. The position on orthostasis showed higher values of vital capacity regarding standing (mean change: 0.15 ± 0.03 L; p = 0.001), the supine to 45 (average difference: 0.32 ± 0.04 L; p = 0.001) and 0° (0.50 ± 0.05 L; p = 0.001). There was a positive trend between the values of forced vital capacity supine to upright posture (1.68 ± 0.47; 1.86 ± 0.48; 2.02 ± 0.48 and 2.18 ± 0.52 L; respectively).
Body position affects the values of vital capacity in patients in the postoperative upper abdominal surgery, increasing in postures where the chest is vertical.
Positioning the patient; Forced vital capacity; Postoperative complications; Abdominal surgery