5 Benefits of an Oxygen Concentrator after Surgery

Surgery, particularly under general anesthesia, is major trauma and strain on your body. Just like after any trauma, you will need to take time to heal following the operation. However; by using an oxygen concentrator post-surgery, your body can regenerate tissue faster with the excess oxygen allowing you to become active sooner!

Under general anesthesia, the anesthesiologist typically intubates you or inserts a tube into your windpipe. This is done to both protect your airway and ensure you have an adequate, constant supply of oxygen. Even after the surgery is concluded patients are often kept on oxygen in the recovery room. This is because surgeons and anesthesiologists realize the benefits of oxygen therapy after surgery. These benefits, listed below, can be extended with a home or portable oxygen machine.

Faster Wound Healing

Evidence suggests wounds heal faster when patients are on supplemental oxygen therapy. This goes for both surgical wounds and any wounds that existed before surgery. A shorter healing time is great news for patients, as it means a quicker return to their active, pre-surgery lifestyle. A fast return to activity additionally promotes healing from surgical procedures.

Ease Pain

Pain is unfortunately common after surgery, and while your surgeon may prescribe pain medications, supplemental oxygen can help too. Often, inhaling deeply after surgery may bring some discomfort, primarily if the procedure was around the chest or abdominal areas. With the extra oxygen, you breathe easier and prevent "air hunger," which aids in lessening your pain after an operation.

Decreased Infection Risk

An oxygen concentrator can also help prevent infection utilizing a filter system. Breathing filtered air carries less risk than breathing the natural air around you. Since immune systems tend to suffer following a surgery, filtered air from an oxygen machine is a definite benefit.

Quicker Return to Exercise

Following surgery, it’s critical to return to physical activity as soon as possible. Not only is exercise vital for your general health, but it also aids in healing. Of course, you should always consult your doctor before engaging in postoperative activity, but an oxygen unit can help to get you active sooner. Supplemental oxygen increases your exercise capacity and many models have "smart" programming to provide more oxygen during periods of increased activity. Additionally, movement and exercise decrease the risk of blood clots, which is a common concern after surgery.

Facilitates Physical Therapy

Following surgery, many patients require physical therapy, especially if the operation was orthopedic in nature. Physical therapy is crucial to your rehabilitation and can be uncomfortable and difficult. A portable oxygen unit provides extra fuel to aid your therapy, allowing you to work harder at your rehabilitation. Since many models are lightweight and come with mobile carts, you’ll be able to bring your concentrator along to your therapy appointments when you need it most.

Whether you’re having a small or large procedure, an at home or portable oxygen concentrator can be extremely beneficial to your recovery time. Increased healing, immune system boosting, energy giving, pain easing and more are just some of the ways oxygen can help you get back on your feet faster! Give us a call today to discuss how an oxygen concentrator can improve your quality of life!

Information on this page is for reference and educational purposes only. For more information, talk to your doctor or primary care provider.

Page last updated: October 2, 2018

About Scott Ridl: Scott joined American Medical Sales and Rentals in 2008 as a Web Manager and Content Writer. He is a writer and designer. He is extensively trained on oxygen therapy products from leading manufacturers such as Inogen, Respironics, Chart, Invacare, ResMed and more. Scott works closely with respiratory therapists and oxygen specialists to educate the community about oxygen therapy products, COPD, asthma and lung diseases. He writes weekly columns and is passionate about educating the community on oxygen therapy and respiratory issues.

4 thoughts on “5 Benefits of an Oxygen Concentrator after Surgery”


    I had operation when I fell and broke my hip. I have never had oxygen outside a hospital but I was discarged with it, being told to use it 66% of the time. I have COPD and for this reason I have been told I will always have to have it. I cannot stand the though of that. Won't I ever be able to come off it?

    • Margaret Goodman
      Margaret Goodman March 26, 2019 at 5:41 am

      Unfortunately, most people who are diagnosed with COPD will have a progression with the continued use of oxygen. I would recommend working with your doctor and your respiratory therapist to see what you can do slow your progression as much as possible.

  • Kit Hudson

    I have a friend who had parathyoid surgery in the last week. He was up walking the day after surgery, says he has no pain, can swallow and eat normally and even raise his voice. Only issue is his pulseox was low and he was released with an order for home O2 therapy. He asked the RT questions but couldn't get a satisfactory response, thus he is frustrated as to why his O2 is low and he needs oxygen at home. He's had other surgeries and also has a pulseox meter at home and has never had this issue. Could this simply be a result this particular surgery and will return to a normal level with healing time?

    • Ed Rodgers

      Hello Kit,
      Glad to hear your friend is on the mend after the surgery. Regarding his pulseox issues, that is best left for his RT to answer. It is important to keep his medical professionals aware and informed of his concerns. I wish him well to a full recovery.


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