Postoperative incentive spirometry does not affect postoperative hypoxemia, arterial oxygen saturation, or postoperative pulmonary complications in patients undergoing bariatric surgery, according to a study in JAMA Surgery.

Researchers conducted a randomized noninferiority trial involving 224 patients undergoing bariatric surgery. Patients were randomized to postoperative incentive spirometry (control group; incentive spirometry used 10 times every hour while awake) or clinical observation (test group).

The researchers observed no significant between-group differences in the frequency of postoperative hypoxemia at six, 12, or 24 postoperative hours (11.9 versus 10.4 percent [P= 0.72]; 5.4 versus 8.2 percent [P = 0.40], and 3.7 versus 4.6 percent [P = 0.73], respectively).