Preoperative exercise therapy for elective major abdominal surgery: A systematic review

S. Pouwels, R.A. Stokmans, E.M. Willigendael, S.W. Nienhuijs, C. Rosman, B. van Ramshorst, J.A.W. Teijink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: The impact of postoperative complications after Major Abdominal Surgery (MAS) is substantial, especially when socio-economical aspects are taken into account. This systematic review focuses on the effects of preoperative exercise therapy (PEXT) on physical fitness prior to MAS, length of hospital admission and postoperative complications in patients eligible for MAS, and on what is known about the most effective kind of exercise regime. Methods: A systematic search identified randomised controlled trials on exercise therapy and pulmonary physiotherapy prior to MAS. The methodological quality of the included studies was rated using the 'Delphi List For Quality Assessment of Randomised Clinical Trials'. The level of agreement between the two reviewers was estimated with Cohen's kappa. Results: A total of 6 studies were included, whose methodological quality ranged from moderate to good. Cohen's kappa was 0.90. Three studies reported on improving physical fitness prior to MAS with the aid of PEXT. Two studies reported on the effect of training on postoperative complications, showing contradictory results. Three studies focused on the effect of preoperative chest physiotherapy on postoperative lung function parameters after MAS. While the effects seem positive, the optimal training regime is still unclear. Conclusion: Preoperative exercise therapy might be effective in improving the physical fitness of patients prior to major abdominal surgery, and preoperative chest physiotherapy seems effective in reducing pulmonary complications. However consensus on training method is lacking. Future research should focus on the method and effect of PEXT before high-risk surgical procedures. (C) 2013 Surgical Associates Ltd. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-140
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Surgery
Volume12
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

Keywords

  • Preconditioning
  • Physical exercise
  • Preoperative training
  • Major surgery outcomes
  • Complications
  • POSTOPERATIVE PULMONARY COMPLICATIONS
  • RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED-TRIAL
  • ARTERY-BYPASS SURGERY
  • NONCARDIAC SURGERY
  • CLINICAL-TRIAL
  • CABG SURGERY
  • LUNG-CANCER
  • TOTAL HIP
  • RISK
  • REHABILITATION

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