Be LifeFit-SurgeFit

A line drawing of a person walking is between the words LifeFit and SurgeFit
June 18, 2020

A new holistic approach to preparing patients for surgery at Fiona Stanley Hospital (FSH) aims to improve outcomes and speed up recovery.

LifeFit-SurgeFit encourages patients to be in the best health possible before coming to hospital by eating the right food, exercising, reducing alcohol intake and stopping smoking.

Short videos presented by surgeons, anaesthetists, dietitians and physiotherapists provide simple health and wellbeing tools for people to integrate into their lifestyle in the lead-up to surgery.

FSH Anaesthetist Dr Mei Mei Westwood said making even small improvements in lifestyle factors could make a big difference in recovery after surgery.

“Going through surgery is a bit like running a marathon,” Dr Westwood said.

“You wouldn’t just get up and run a marathon. You would train for it, eat the right food, do the right exercise, cut down or quit drinking and smoking so you can finish that marathon.

“Patients will have an entire team of professionals, called the multidisciplinary team, supporting them on the surgical journey. This team’s job is to make the marathon as short and as flat as possible for quicker and safer recovery.”

Dr Westwood said it was all about patients getting themselves mentally and physically prepared before they even get to the operating theatre.

“Being mentally prepared for what is to come is also important,” she said.

“Patients need to understand the benefits and risks of their surgery and know they can ask questions at any time about cares or concerns.

“This can help patients appreciate the likely outcomes for their surgery and helps us plan our therapies to help them cope better, especially with major surgery.”

More information and the videos can be found on the Fiona Stanley Hospital LifeFit-SurgeFit webpage.

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