Instructions for Volumetric Exercisers

Home Nursing - Breathing Exercise

A Volumetric Exerciser, or spirometer, is a post-operative recovery apparatus used most commonly after major abdominal and chest surgery to restore and strengthen lung functioning. The apparatus trains the lungs to increase inspiratory volume through a series of deep breathing sessions. The user gradually improves respiratory fitness by inhaling forcefully through a breathing tube attached to a clear plastic device that measures the volume of each inspiration. Each deep breath helps to reach and expand the small air sacs in the lungs.

Attach the open end of the breathing tube to the clear, plastic device and place the apparatus in the upright position.

Slide the pointer on the device to the prescribed milliliter level as directed by your physician.

Exhale normally and firmly enclose lips around the breathing tube.

Inhale slowly and deeply until the piston in the device reaches the prescribed mL level. If it is not possible to achieve the prescribed level, inhale as much as you possibly can.

After the total inhalation, remove the mouthpiece and hold the breath for the prescribed amount of time.

Exhale normally and allow the piston to return to the base of the device.

Repeat the inhale-hold-exhale process as directed by your physician.

Keep track of your progress by writing down your maximal inspiration each day.


Carefully follow your physician's directions when using this device.