Drainage used in bronchiectasis and lung abscess. The patient's body is positioned so that the trachea is inclined downward and below the affected chest area. Postural drainage is essential in treating bronchiectasis and patients must receive physiotherapy to learn to tip themselves into a position in which the lobe to be drained is uppermost at least three times daily for up to 30 minutes. The treatment is often used in conjunction with a technique for loosening secretions in the chest cavity called chest percussion. Chest percussion is performed by clapping the back or chest with a cupped hand. Alternatively, a mechanical vibrator may be used in some cases to facilitate loosening of secretions. There are drainage positions for all segments of the lung. These positions can be modified depending on the patient's condition.
Postural drainage may be followed by breathing exercises to help expel loosened secretions from the airway.