Importance of prehabilitation and nutrition in cancer surgery

Importancia de la prehabilitación y nutrición en cirugía oncológica

Recent studies have shown the importance of the physical preparation for patients prior to a major abdominal surgery, what we call prehabilitation.

The fact of carrying out prehabilitation for a minimum of 4 weeks before surgery, using a physical trainer or a physiotherapist, reduces the post-surgery complications of major surgeries. It has been known for a long time that abdominal surgeries affect our body with a reduction in half of patients of between 20 to 40% of their functional and physiological capacities. Therefore, the effect of improving these capacities before surgery was studied, and a series of parameters have been defined in which we can influence in order to minimize the negative effects of the surgery in this regard. Likewise, it has been observed that by improving these capacities beforehand, it is possible to reduce:

  • Number of complications (especially respiratory ones)
  • Post-surgery hospital stay
  • Mortality rates

A supervised physical preparation program is proposed to patients where the most relevant aspects are emphasized in order to acquire better physical capacities.

The importance of nutrition

All this must be associated with adequate nutrition, according to the characteristics of each patient, normally high in protein. Nutrition has a special relevance, since frequently, in the treated pathologies, patients present some type of alteration due to the disease itself.

In the case of smoking, it is advisable to quit smoking one month before the surgery. This is to optimize the results, being able to offer nicotine replacement treatments.

Along with all of the above, it has been observed another potential benefit of prehabilitation. The patient is aware that he can actively influence the prognosis of his disease, which serves as a psychological help in regards of the disease.

Obviously, prehabilitation must be perfectly coordinated with the medical treatments (in case they are applied) prior to surgery (chemotherapy, radiotherapy, hormone therapy, etc.).

Quenet Torrent Institute incorporates prehabilitation in the treatment of its patients, with the help of experts in physical training and nutrition, who accompany the patient before and after surgical treatment.

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