Significance of Prehabilitation in Surgery Outcomes

March 16, 2022

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Going through a major surgery requires just as much preparation and training as running a marathon does. Multidisciplinary prehabilitation improves the patients’ physical, nutritional and mental health before surgery. Evidence suggests that this practice lowers the risk of complications and enhances recovery after surgery. “Although it has already been adopted in several new guidelines, we are still at the threshold of implementation. The question remains: Should we offer our patients the chance to get fit for surgery now or do we need to wait for more evidence?”

Surgery initiates a global catabolic event in the body that creates significant physiological stress. 15-40% of individuals are affected by postoperative complications, leading to a 2-4 fold increase in length of hospital stay, higher risk of hospital readmissions, and reduced life expectancy. The long-term impact of surgery is a serious concern as many patients fail to regain their previous level of functional activity.

Risk factors for undesirable post-surgical outcomes also include unhealthy lifestyle and behavioral factors like inactivity, malnutrition, smoking, and drinking, as they collectively affect the body’s resilience to physiological stress from the surgery. The body’s stress response to surgery increases the demand for oxygen, that unfit patients may struggle to meet, leading to adverse outcomes.

Preoperative behavioral modifications including improved diet, physical activity, and mental health enhance the patient’s physiological reserve to buffer the high catabolic rate. Research shows that most patients are motivated to improve their lifestyle however, a lack of confidence was observed among the patients, indicating the need for supervised prehabilitation. The patients can further benefit from a person-centered approach, as it is more effective.

Prehabilitation is generally carried out in 3 stages: screening, intervention, and monitoring. With BlueJay ENGAGE, remote care platform, PCPs and PTs can conveniently provide prehabilitative care to their patients, using innovative tools.

- Video Visits
- AI assessment
- Compliance Tracking
- 4000+ Exercise Videos Library
- Electronic Medical/Health Records