Pulmonary Rehabilitation

What is pulmonary rehabilitation?

Pulmonary rehabilitation is an outpatient program for people who have been diagnosed with chronic lung disease, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), who have respiratory symptoms resulting in decreased daily activities or a decrease in quality of life. Pulmonary rehab has been shown to reduce symptoms of chronic lung disease and help improve functions of everyday life.

Pulmonary Rehabilitation

How can pulmonary rehabilitation help me?

UTMB’s goal is to help patients manage their disease and return to daily activities and increase quality of life by:

  • Improving your physical health to aid in reducing respiratory symptoms, such as shortness of breath and fatigue
  • Improving your mental and social health by decreasing anxiety and depression
  • Helping you to understand and manage your lung disease
  • Reducing risk factors through lifestyle changes
Pulmonary Rehab


“On a scale from 1-10, I give pulmonary rehab an 11” – A.Vela
“I enjoy when I get to come, I feel it has helped my breathing” –D.Walker
“Glad I’m back, it improves my breathing” –D.Hanna
“Pulmonary Rehab has given me my life back. I am forever Thankful” –McElroy

What can I expect at UTMB Pulmonary Rehab?

Before beginning the program, you will undergo some required testing that can include pulmonary function testing and a six-minute walking test (unless recently done within 6 months). Once the required testing has been completed, our physician will determine if you are eligible for the pulmonary rehab program.

UTMB’s rehab program is offered by the Pulmonary Department. Most programs are held two days a week for up to 12 weeks and follow an education and exercise program tailored to each individual’s needs and health condition.

Each session will include:

  • Physician-prescribed exercise on a treadmill, a stationary bike, an arm ergometer, hand weights, and occasionally walking up and down stairs.
  • Pulse and oxygen saturations during and after exercise.
  • Breathing retraining and coaching.

The program is led by one of UTMB’s specially trained Respiratory Therapists who will monitor patients carefully during each session.

The educational portion of the program includes topics such as Living with COPD, Stress Reduction, Nutrition, and much more.

Upon completion of UTMB’s pulmonary rehab program, participants are encouraged to follow an at-home exercise program to maintain their highest level of health.

Getting Started

If you don’t already have a referral from your physician, talk to him or her about pulmonary rehabilitation and how it might help you. For more information about your COPD, visit www.copdfoundation.org

Pulmonary Rehab
Pulmonary Rehab

Our Locations

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Campus Bird Maps

  • ALL Pulmonary Rehab

    Pulmonary Rehabilitation