Are you healthy enough to have surgery?
Hospitals are asking about your health condition prior to having elective surgery procedures such as hip and knee replacement or a back operation. Their goal is to identify those at higher risk for infections and other complications due to diabetes or other metabolic disorders, heart disease or sedentary behavior that could improve with pre-habilitation.
Pre-habilitation includes medical treatments, diets AND exercise; all recommended to improve your chances of a successful outcome.
Exercise prescriptions are not a new concept. Surgeons have been advising patients for years to get in shape before surgery by eliminating bad habits such as smoking and poor diet. Weight reduction and blood sugar control in diabetes patients can be worthwhile. Do we listen? Are we willing to accept the risks if we don’t?
Of course, you need to discuss delaying surgery with your physician if you do choose to improve your health before your operation. The risks to postponing surgery for days, weeks or even months can mean the difference between healing and the likelihood of contracting an antibiotic resistant infection.
At the University of Michigan, a program known as MSHOP, for Michigan Surgical and Health Organization Program, assessed 500 patients at risk for surgical complications based on CT-scans, personal characteristics and surgical outcomes. It then assigned a regimen the patient could complete at home for a specific time prior to surgery. It included fitness, nutrition and breathing capacity. The program’s final analysis showed the average length of stay was reduced from six to four days for those that completed the program.
Those individuals who were not following a healthy program and were out of shape prior to surgery had a longer stay and found their recovery was much more difficult and they were frailer than before their surgery.
What to consider
Empower yourself to change your lifestyle now so you can have greater results by preparing (training) as if for an athletic competition. If you keep yourself in good condition, you’ll be prepared for surgery or even an accident (fall, auto accident, etc.).
Please be sure that whichever exercise-related choice you make, your program is designed to maximize the benefits with the fewest risks of aggravating your body. Consider contacting us, certified health and fitness professionals for seniors, at 818-620-1442 for an assessment. We can work with you and your health care provider to establish realistic goals and design a safe and effective program prior to your surgery. We can work with you and your health care provider to establish realistic goals and design a safe and effective program prior to your surgery. You may also follow us on Facebook or visit our website.