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Why wait for the operation? Pre-operative physiotherapy

Most people take their health seriously. Their activities of daily living will incorporate a personal care regime to which they adhere, honed over time as they move through the age ranges, and as ailments occur, are cured, and life continues.


Some have an annual ‘MOT’ with their doctor as a preventative measure, and after the age of 50, many doctors write to their patients to ask them to come in for a health review, with them or the practice nurse, to check that everything is functioning correctly. Some also have an annual blood test as an additional measure to see that all function counts remain within expected levels. This also provides a record of past data to flag up any changes and anomalies at future reviews.


As an example, one of our clients does have a medical ‘MOT’ and blood tests each year. This year’s results showed a noticeable change in readings linked with liver health and an ultra-sound was required. The conundrum was that the liver function was comfortably within normal readings, although all did not seem quite right.


Then the penny dropped. All the client’s siblings have had to have their gall bladder removed in recent years, and indeed, the ultra-sound found significant gallstones and a past rupture. It was agreed that the gall bladder should be removed, with the plan of using keyhole surgery.


As a business owner, making the return to work smooth and as fast as is sensible was a priority. As a regular client, she consulted me on post operation physiotherapy care to help with her recovery, but also importantly what exercises and treatments she should be considering in the lead up to her elective surgery date. A good question, and one that is not often a significant focus.


The provision of a tailor-made pre-operative physiotherapy rehabilitation programme may well improve your outcome of surgery. It is well established that, routinely, the better condition the body is in as it goes in for surgery, the more successful the result. Benefits of pre-operative physiotherapy may include both improved mental and physical strength prior to your operation and a shorter recovery time post op. Your personalised programme should address issues such as helping you manage pain and inflammation, normalising muscle patterns, any loss of range of movement and improve cardiovascular fitness. Proactive and planned physiotherapy care before an operation may well have significant benefits.


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A thought-provoking situation and some proactive planning, I am sure you would agree. We hope to follow up soon with a post operative blog on the care that a physiotherapist can offer in the recuperation phase as the client starts to focus on a comfortable return to work.


We hope you will see that thinking about your physiotherapy care is important and chatting through what you anticipate and expect is part of that process. Please do contact Life Made Simple Physiotherapy by email at Physio@lifemadesimple.co.uk , or by telephone on 07309 272 555 for your individual physiotherapy needs and care.

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