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Rev Esp Enferm Dig. 2019 Jun 24;111. doi: 10.17235/reed.2019.6182/2019. [Epub ahead of print]

Prehabilitation in patients undergoing pancreaticoduodenectomy: a randomized controlled trial.

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Cirugía, CHUVI, España.



prehabilitation has been proposed as an effective tool to prevent postoperative complications in patients undergoing major abdominal surgery. However, no studies have demonstrated its effectiveness in pancreatic surgical patients. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of prehabilitation on postoperative complications in patients undergoing a pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD).


this was a randomized controlled trial. Eligible candidates who accepted to participate were randomized to the control (standard care) or intervention (standard care + prehabilitation) group. All patients with pancreatic or periampullary tumors who were candidates for pancreaticoduodenectomy were included. Patients who received neoadjuvant treatment were excluded. Prehabilitation covered three actions: a) nutritional support; b) control of diabetes and exocrine pancreatic insufficiency; and c) physical and respiratory training. The main study outcome was the proportion of patients who suffered postoperative complications. Secondary outcomes included the occurrence of specific complications (pancreatic leak and delayed gastric emptying) and hospital stay.


forty patients were included in the analysis. Twenty-two patients were randomized to the control arm and 18, to the intervention group. No statistically significant differences were observed in terms of overall and major complications between the prehabilitation and standard care groups. Pancreatic leak was not statistically different between the groups (11% vs 27%, p = 0.204). However, DGE was significantly lower in the prehabilitation group (5.6% vs 40.9% in the standard care group, p = 0.01).


prehabilitation did not reduce postoperative complications following a pancreaticoduodenectomy. However, a reduction in DGE was observed. Further studies are needed to validate the role and the timing of prehabilitation in high-risk patients.

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