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Curr Sports Med Rep. 2016 Jul-Aug;15(4):282-9. doi: 10.1249/JSR.0000000000000274.

The Impact of Fitness on Surgical Outcomes: The Case for Prehabilitation.

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1Division of Cardiology, Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System, Palo Alto, CA; 2Stanford University, Stanford, CA.


In recent years, a growing body of research has demonstrated that an individual's fitness level is a strong and independent marker of risk for cardiovascular and all-cause mortality. In addition, modest improvements in fitness through exercise intervention have been associated with considerable health outcome benefits. These studies have generally assessed fitness as a baseline marker in traditional epidemiological cohorts. However, there has been a recent recognition that fitness powerfully predicts outcomes associated with a wide range of surgical interventions. The concept of 'prehabilitation' is based on the principle that patients with higher functional capability will better tolerate a surgical intervention, and studies have shown that patients with higher fitness have reduced postoperative complications and demonstrate better functional, psychosocial, and surgery-related outcomes. This review focuses on the impact of fitness on surgical outcomes and provides a rationale in support of routine application of prehabilitation in the management of patients undergoing surgery.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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