Surgery Guide - LTSR
HSS Logo

Recovering in the Hospital


A post-operative dressing will be applied on your operated shoulder. You may also have a thin tube inserted at the surgical site attached to a drain to prevent accumulation of blood around the muscle and bone of the shoulder. The tube and drain are removed the day after surgery, and the dressing is removed the first or second post-surgical day.

Members of the nursing staff and rehabilitation team will position you in bed and help regain your mobility. Because anesthesia may temporarily inhibit your balance, you must always ask for help when getting out of bed.

In collaboration with you and your support system, the hospital staff, and shoulder team will plan, provide, and monitor your care.

In collaboration with you and your support system, the hospital staff, including a physician, physician assistant, nurse, physical therapist, and social worker will plan, provide, and monitor your care.

  • The nurse, physical therapist, or occupational therapist will again instruct you in controlling swelling.
  • The physical therapist or occupational therapist will instruct you putting on/taking off the sling and when to use it based on your surgeon’s recommendations.
  • The physical therapist or occupational therapist will assist you in safe mobility and your shoulder precautions.
  • If your surgeon has prescribed any exercises, your physical therapist or occupational therapist will review and demonstrate those exercises.

Deep Breathing

It is extremely important to perform deep breathing exercises after surgery to rid your airway and lung passages of mucus. Normally, you take deep breaths almost every hour, usually without being aware of it, whenever you sigh or yawn. When you are in pain or are drowsy from anesthesia or pain medication, your breathing may be shallow. To ensure that you take deep breathes daily, the nursing staff will provide you with a device called an incentive spirometer, along with instructions on its use.

How to Use the Incentive Spirometer

  1. With the unit in an upright position, place your lips tightly around the mouthpiece and exhale normally.
  2. Inhale (A). To achieve a deep and sustained breath, inhale at a rate sufficient to raise the ball in the chamber.
  3. Exhale (B). After performing the exercise, remove the mouthpiece from your lips.
  4. Relax and breathe normally for a moment after each deep breath.
  5. Repeat this exercise 10 times every hour while you are awake.
A. incentive spirometer - inhale       B. incentive spirometer - exhale