It is common knowledge that the fitter you are before going into hospital for an operation, the quicker you recover.
But the doctors and hospital staff usually have no idea how fit you really are and its not until complications arise during or after the operation that the bodies weakness’ are identified.
Now a new scheme is being run, launched by Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, which runs Royal Preston and Chorley and South Ribble Hospitals that is designed to address just that problem.
They have invested £40,000 in cardiopulmonary exercise testing equipment as part of its new ‘fitness for surgery’ initiative.
After specialists have put the patient through a range of tests, doctors can then plan the level of care and rehabilitation a patient will need after surgery and can identify patients who may be at risk of complication during the operation, so more appropriate treatment can be arranged.
It is hoped that 500 patients a year will benefit from the scheme and by knowing the fitness level of a patient it will help the doctors be prepared for complications that may occur, treat them immediately or avoid them completely, and all this will result in getting the patient back home sooner.