When can I resume my usual activities after lung surgery?

Adelaide Cardiothoracic > When can I resume my usual activities after lung surgery?

Please Note: This is a guide only and may vary for different people. Consult your doctor for advice on strenous activities.


Gradually returning to activities gives you time to heal after your surgery.

SLOW DOWN if you experience PAIN, DIZZINESS, SHORTNESS of BREATH, during, or after, activities.

WEEKS 2 after surgery

  • Light tasks only  Water garden; dusting; dishes (avoid pushing, pulling and twisting)


  • Stairs – as normal

  • Sex – Gently​

  • Walking – 10-15 minutes, 2 times a day (stroll on flat ground)

  • Lifting – within comfort.

  • Gentle exercise bike

WEEK 3 after surgery

  • Simple cooking, light gardening  watering, light weeding (avoid pushing, pulling and twisting)

  • DRIVING – usually fine by week 3 (as per your doctor)

  • Work –  back to light duties

  • Sex – gently at your own place.

  • Walking – 20 to 30 minutes, 2 times a day (comfortable pace on flat ground)

  • Lifting – within comfort

  • Longer Outings – movies, restaurants

WEEK 4 after surgery

  • Can attend to home duties (as tolerated)

  • Sex – Resume as normal

  • Walking –  at your own pace, increasing distance over time

  • Lifting – increasing over time – delay heavy lifting until week 4 onwards

  • Exercising – you can gently commence other exercise – delay swimming until wound is healed, and ask doctor for guidance on recommending sport.

Coughing, Deep Breathing and TriFio® Exercises: Continue for two weeks post-discharge four times per day.