Prehabilitation is an element of rehabilitation where your journey to recovery starts before surgery has even begun through physical, nutritional and psychological support.
It introduces some steps you can take to help you prepare for your upcoming surgery. The actions you take now can help your recover more quickly and reduce the time you spend in hospital.
Many people are glad to know they can do something immediately to help their health
The benefits of prehabilitation can be seen in as little as two weeks.
Listen to a Top Med Talk on Mental wellbeing
There are many aspects to prehabilitation but some of the main areas of focus are outlined below. You can find our more about individual areas on our dedicated pages.
Aim for 30 minutes of aerobic activity daily, to include moderate to brisk walking, jogging, swimming, cycling - can be done in ten minute sessions
See this Macmillan Exercise video which applies to before surgery too!
We hope that you find Prehabilitation gives you tools that you can use to positively impact your upcoming surgery and guide you to take control of your health and wellbeing.
Your healthcare team are here to help and support you please contact us if you need support or advice at any point and any question that is important to you is important to us.
During your prehabilitation journey you may be referred to one or all of the following specialities
Your specialist nurse will act as your key worker, providing reassurance, support, information and advice to you and your family. It is their role to help coordinate your care and they will be a familiar face at the hospital that you can call when needed.
You may be referred to the dietitian if you are losing weight or are having problems eating. Our aim is to support you to optimise your nutritional intake ahead of your surgery. You may also be referred to us if you are overweight and you have been advised to lose weight by your surgeon or specialist nurse.
Bladder, bowel and prostate cancers can cause problems with continence. You may be experiencing loss of bladder or bowel control or leakage. This can affect many aspects of your life including personal relationships, sexual relationships, work and social issues. Following the advice below can help you improve your continence in most cases. You may be referred to specialist pelvic health physiotherapist who can teach you pelvic floor exercises and help you to find ways to improve or regain bladder and bowel control.
You may see a Physiotherapist to assist you to improve your Physical Function and Strength. They will have a discussion with you to see how much exercise you currently manage and if there are ways in which you could improve this and what the benefit may be. They will tailor any advice to suit your ability. They may also give you an exercise programme to follow.
Your Cancer nurse specialist is happy to discuss any emotional aspects of your cancer experience and can recommend various resources to help you. Some people benefit from one or more appointments with a clinical psychologist in the prehabilitation team to further build coping skills for how you are feeling and the treatment ahead. Your nurse will discuss with you if you think this might be helpful.