Be Well

You know about Rehab but what about Prehab?

Discover Prehab: A Proactive Approach to Wellness at Be Well Hawthorn

A friend was told they needed major surgery recently. They are not in great shape though,and their specialiist said, ‘You need to be in better health before surgery for the best results’. They sent my friend away with a note to ‘get healthier.’ Not a huge amount of direction, I’m sure you’ll agree!

On the other hand, my brother had bariatric surgery a few years ago and the 3 months prep couldn’t have been more detailed and specific to get in shape for his surgery.

For many people needing surgery the focus is often on the procedure itself and the immediate recovery period. It got me thinking about how we all know about the essential need for rehabilitation after surgery, accidents and injuries but how little we know about the immense value of prehabilitation.

You wouldn’t run a marathon without training and when you think about it, no matter

how large or small the intervention whether at the GP or a hospital or the Dentist, any kind of surgery is physically and psychologically stressful.

What if there was a way to improve your surgical outcome and bounce back faster? Enter prehabilitation, a proactive approach to optimizing your health before surgery.

So here’s my deep dive into prehabilitation for you and / or your family and friends this week!

What is prehabilitation?

Prehabilitation, or prehab for short, is a personalized program designed to enhance your physical fitness and overall wellbeing before undergoing surgery.

It typically involves a combination of aerobic exercise, strength training, and functional exercises to improve your cardiovascular health, muscle strength, and balance; a nutritional plan to help your body heal faster and build resilience; and, support to address anxiety and stress to improve your coping mechanisms and recovery.

The data speaks for itself. Research has shown numerous benefits associated with prehabilitation:

● Reduced complications

A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that prehabilitation programs led to a 23% decrease in postoperative complications for patients undergoing major abdominal surgery.

● Shorter hospital stays

A 2017 review published in JAMA Surgery found that prehabilitation programs could reduce hospital stays by an average of 2.3 days.

● Faster recovery

A 2022 study published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders demonstrated that prehabilitation programs helped patients regain functional independence faster after total knee replacement surgery.

● Improved quality of life

Studies have shown that prehabilitation can lead tobetter pain management, reduced fatigue, and improved overall quality of life following surgery.

Prehab at Be Well

I had a chat with Pat Lynch, our Senior Physiotherapist, about this recently and he told me overall recovery is 30% faster with prehab than without. That’s pretty incredible!

Fortunately, we provide both prehab and rehab programs at Be Well and for anyone, not only Members.

Along with Pat, Dr Kate O’Brien and Jane Mitchell, our dietician and our PTs, we create personalized plans to optimize your health and empower you for a faster and smoother recovery journey.

See you soon at Be Well!

See you again at Be Well soon!

Be Well is the first-of-its- kind urban health, wellness and lifestyle club in Melbourne, Australia.  Informed by the science of longevity, Be Well nurtures the relationship you have with yourself and others, to optimise your lifestyle, and live your longest, best life.