Southwest General Hospital

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Pulmonary Rehabilitation

Pulmonary Rehabilitation

Highly skilled treatment for patients with chronic lung disease

At Southwest General, our Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program is one for breathing-impaired individuals who experience difficulty with shortness of breath, repeated pulmomary flare-ups and hospitalizations or are seeking information to deal with these concerns.  Lung diseases--including COPD--include emphyasema, chronic bronchitis, asthma, pulmonary fibrosis, interstitial lung disease or neuromuscular abnormalities.

Helping Patients to an Improved and Satisfying Life by Improving Lung Function

Our Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program is structured to include exercise, breathing, retraining education and dietary counseling.  The program has specific goals to improve quality of life.  Those goals include: 

  • Decreasing respiratory symptoms and complications
  • Encouraging patients to reach the highest level of independent functioning for daily living
  • Improving physical conditioning and exercise performance
  • Decreasing repeated hospitalizations


Medical necessity for pulmonary rehabilitation is demonstrated by patients who meet certain criteria.  This is done by having pulmonary function test (spirometry) that will confirm the degree of severity.

A Three-Phase Program for a Continuum of Care

There are three phases that are led by health care professionals who are continually learning new and improved techniques in pulmonary rehabilitation. This includes new medical technology, modalities and educational forms.

  • Phase I

    This is an initial counseling session in the inpatient setting with a physician referral to explain the pulmonary rehabilitation program.  The phase is also for inpatient smoking cessation visits.

  • Phase II

    This phase consists of monitored exercise and educational sessions. These sessions are geared toward improving your heart and lung function, thereby strengthening the muscles used for breathing.  Often times, patients may limit physicial activities because of the fear of becoming short of breath.  Over time, muscle strength decreases, and patients find themselves becoming weaker.  Southwest General's program enables patients to pursue activities to the fullest extent of their abilities.  This boosts confidence to maintain physical fitness and have full control over breathing.

    The physical conditioning is done in a group setting and includes activities such as stationary bicycling, treadmill, pulley weights, rowing machine, hand weights, arm ergometers and a stationary weight machine.

    Phase II education includes:

    • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
    • Lung anatomy—both normal and abnormal
    • Breathing retraining
    • Types of respiratory care equipment—use, cleaning and care
    • What to expect if and when an emergency room visit happens
    • Respiratory medicines
    • Instructions in breathing and relaxation techniques
    • How to conserve energy for many daily activities
    • Subjects concerning your disease processes
    • Occasional guest speakers
    • Heart anatomy

    Insurance Coverage

    Pulmonary Rehab Phase II is covered by most insurance plans. However, patients should check with their own insurance company regarding coverage.

    Upon graduation from a Phase II program, we encourage patients to further their rehabilitation, whether it be home exercise, at a local recreation center or in our Phase III program.  Our Phase II graduates enjoy a special camaraderie and this continues and grows.
  • Phase III

    These sessions are self-pay and medically supervised. Oxygen is provided, if needed. This part of the program stresses continuing physical conditioning.

    The Phase II and Phase III programs are held at the Strongsville Medical Center on Pearl Rd.

We Look Forward to Helping You

For more information about Southwest General’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program, please call 440-816-8982 or 440-816-5772.

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