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FITSurgery Launch urges patients in Grampian urged to undertake ‘prehab’ prior to surgery

By David Porter

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NHS Grampian has launched a new “prehabilitation” programme to aid patient recovery following surgery and increase hospital capacity.

FitSurgery aims to help with pre-surgery preparation
FitSurgery aims to help with pre-surgery preparation

FITSurgery will help improve patient experience, recovery times, shorten hospital stays and deliver better surgical outcomes.

It will encourage patients to undertake as much physical exercise as they can, improve their diet, reduce smoking and alcohol intake, ensure they are psychologically prepared, ensure they are advised on medications, and ensure they have prepared their home for discharge prior to an operation.

Professor Duff Bruce, clinical lead and general surgeon, said: “As surgeons we consistently find the more informed patients and their carers or family members are prior to surgical admission, the more likely they are to be better prepared and have a better experience.

"That helps lead to a quicker recovery and a shorter length of hospital stay.

“FITSurgery is all about trying to build on that - we will help patients prepare, support their physical health both before and after surgery, ensure their respiratory health is as good as it can be, support their mental health and ensure they know what to expect when they come to hospital for their operation.

“To a point it sounds like common sense, but it really does make a difference - the more prepared and fitter a patient is when they undergo surgery the better their outcomes.”

Professor Bruce added that surgeons “too often” see people who do not realise that the outcome of their operation is not just down to the skill of your surgical team or what happens in theatre.

“What you do in the weeks leading up to your surgery can have a very real and significant impact on its success and on your recovery,” he added.

“That’s why we are urging people across Grampian coming for surgery to really consider what they can do to help themselves via something we sometimes call ‘prehab’.

“It goes without saying we want every patient that comes to our facilities in Grampian to have the best experience possible and a better recovery.

"By preparing for surgery as much as possible they can help ensure this.

“Not only will the patient themselves benefit, it will also have a much wider impact - if hospital stays are shortened, it also increases the number of patients we can operate on more quickly. That could be a game changer and a vital one that is more needed than ever considering the impact of Covid-19 on our healthcare systems.”

For more information visit www.fitsurgery.org

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