Fitness and recovery after surgery

We’ve shown that patients’ physical fitness is linked with their outcomes after surgery. We’re trialing specific exercise programmes between chemotherapy and surgery toimprove outcomes through the Fit-4-Surgery program.

Key investigator: Prof Mike Grocott

Key Projects

  • Our work in this area underpins refined exercise training interventions for patients undergoing chemotherapy or chemoradiotherapy before surgery, being piloted through Southampton’s clinical service.
  • That intervention is built upon our first-in-field demonstration that chemotherapy prior to colon resection surgery reduces physical fitness among bowel cancer patients, impacting recovery. Subsequent work has shown that a nine week structured endurance training programme gives patients better physical fitness and quality of life.
  • We are now refining this training programme and assessing its effectiveness at improving surgery outcomes for other patients, including those undergoing liver transplant surgery.