Background/Aims: This study examines the feasibility of a preoperative exercise program to improve the physical fitness of a patient before gastrointestinal surgery. Methods: An outpatient exercise program was developed to increase preoperative aerobic capacity, peripheral muscle endurance and respiratory scheduled within 2 weeks. Results: The 115 participants followed on average 5.7 (3.5) training sessions. Adherence to the exercise program was high: 82% of muscle function in patients with pancreatic, liver, intestinal, gastric or esophageal cancer. During a consult at the outpatient clinic, patients were invited to participate in the exercise program when their surgery was not the planned training sessions were attended, and no adverse events occurred. Mixed model analyses showed a significant increase of maximal inspiratory muscle strength (84.1-104.7 cm H2O; p = 0.00) and inspiratory muscle endurance (35.0-39.5 cm H2O; p = 0.00). No significant changes were found in aerobic capacity and peripheral muscle strength. Conclusion: This exercise program in patients awaiting oncological surgery is feasible in terms of participation and adherence. Inspiratory muscle function improved significantly as a result of inspiratory muscle training. The exercise program however failed to result in improved aerobic capacity and peripheral muscle strength, probably due to the limited number of training sessions as a result of the restricted time interval between screening and surgery.
- Oncological surgery
- Preoperative exercise