Patients who get fit before surgery recover more quickly, hospital says


People who are helped to become physically fitter before undergoing an operation suffer fewer complications and can be released from hospital earlier, a two year project by the Radboud teaching hospital involving bowel cancer patients has shown.

Patients spent an average of two days less in hospital and suffered half the complications of those who had not followed a programme to get healthy prior to their operation, the Nijmegen-based hospital said.

The tailor-made programme involved some four weeks of physical fitness, mental support, dietary tips and help to stop smoking and cut back on alcohol. The findings of the Fit4Surgery research project are in line with those in other international studies.

Radboud now plans to use the same programme on seven other patient groups, totalling some 400 patients. Health insurance companies CZ, VGZ, Menzis and Zilveren Kruis support the initiative, the AD said.

‘It is the first time that improving health has such a prominent role in treating an illness,’ hospital chairman Bertine Lahuis told the Gelderlander newspaper. ‘It also allows people to contribute themselves to the success of their operation.

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