Are you fit enough for surgery?

I have written a lot of words on the benefits of living a healthy life by eating intelligently and exercising regularly. We have the opportunity to live long healthy lives with our mental abilities functioning as well as our bodies do. We need only follow a few simple rules of good health. Our bodies are organic machines that need proper care and maintenance or they will fall into disrepair just like our inorganic machines, autos, refrigerators, etc., do.

Now the Wall Street Journal illuminates another aspect of fitness. The other side of good health, namely hospitalization and surgery.

“In health care, we often bring patients into surgery without fully addressing their chronic medical conditions,” says Dr. Solomon Aronson, executive vice chair in the anesthesiology department at Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, N.C. By improving their health before surgery, he says, “we can significantly diminish the risk of complications.”

The item cites a seriously overweight man who had a knee replacement in 2013, but the hardware began to come apart leaving him hobbled and in pain. The failed knee had to be removed. The patient was warned about the dangers of his being overweight. “No one had ever mentioned to me that this might be a problem…”

“The reason many patients don’t do well is because they are already deconditioned as couch potatoes, and then they get a big operation which makes them even more frail,” says Michael Englesbe, a University of Michigan transplant surgeon and associate professor who led the study and directs the Michigan Surgical and Health Optimization Program. Dr. Englesbe says that the program “empowers patients to have control over their outcome,” and recommends all patients train for elective surgery, much as they would before athletic competition.

Maybe this will be the final reminder for folks who are currently letting themselves go physically. There is always hope. It is never too late to improve your physical condition. Your body will respond to good behavior and nutrition and you can begin to flourish again on your own and before you need medical intervention. The choice is still yours.



Filed under Exercise, exercise benefits, fitness, fitness facts, Wall Street Journal

7 responses to “Are you fit enough for surgery?

  1. THIS!!! All of this!!! I’ve written about this subject myself on my own blog. My surgeon told me that even though my extreme good health (I’m a fitness professional) did not stop me from getting cancer, my extreme good health and fitness, combined with my healthy weight, DID allow me to have a laparoscopic surgery instead of a traditional open surgery. This in turn allowed a quicker recovery and because I was already extremely fit, I bounced back fast. My surgeon also told me that he LOVES to see people like me because he can almost always predict a positive outcome. He dreads it when his patient is overweight and deconditioned. I think we owe it to our over burdened health care (I’m in Canada where the wait times are insane for life saving surgeries) to stay as fit and healthy as possible. You’ll just have a better life. Thanks so much for writing this post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post, Tony. Too true.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for mentioning this blog in one of your posts, Jim. I never would have found it otherwise!

      Liked by 1 person

      • My pleasure, Gail. Tony and I don’t always see eye to eye, but he cranks out some excellent work.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Now see, THAT is what I have most enjoyed about my blogging experience. Like you I don’t always see eye to eye with what I read but without exception, I can disagree with someone without it getting disagreeable. Perhaps it just comes down to my winning personality?? Naw. That’s just crazy talk. Just nice people, I reckon, with patience for another point of view.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. People don’t even consider a poor state of health and condition prior to surgical intervention. It shocks most people to think the risks of complications significantly rise based on these two factors. Time to shake out the cobwebs and see reality for the first time!

    Liked by 1 person

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