Prehabilitation and your operation

  • About 10 million patients undergo surgery annually in the UK
  • About 20-30% of patients have postoperative complications after major abdominal surgery
  • Major surgery is associated with a 40% reduction in functional capacity
  • 250,000 patients are at higher risk from surgery annually due to their health problems
  • Major surgery is like running a marathon—and both require training

What is prehabilitation?

Prehabilitation is based on the principle that structured and sustained exercise over a period of weeks leads to improved cardiovascular, respiratory, and muscular conditioning and better ability to cope with major surgery.

It also includes addressing modifiable risk factors such as smoking poor nutrition, anaemia and anxiety to improve postoperative outcomes.

Prehabilitation- Preparing patients for surgery

What does it mean for you?

  • Leave hospital sooner
  • Make you feel better and return to normal living sooner
  • Getting better sooner

How can you prepare for your operation?

  • Exercise twice a day with a brisk walk for 20-30 minutes daily for upto 4 weeks leading up to surgery
  • Address modifiable risk factors such as stopping smoking, nutritional supplements to address weight loss, treatment for anaemia and diabetes
  • Discuss your anxieties about your operation with your surgical team and prepare yourself for your operation

More information on Prehabilitation

The Centre for Perioperative Care (CPOC)

Why you should try prehab if you’re waiting for an operation

PREPWELL – Community Prehabilitation & Wellbeing Videos