- Reviewed by Toni Golen, MD, Editor in Chief, Harvard Women's Health Watch; Editorial Advisory Board Member, Harvard Health Publishing; Contributor
The worry begins as soon as we schedule an elective surgery — whether joint replacement, hysterectomy, hernia repair, or any of the scores of procedures that account for the 15 million operations Americans undergo each year. Spun differently, though, the waiting time represents an opportunity: not to fret, but to prime your body for the rigors of surgery to maximize recovery afterward.
There's a name for such efforts: prehabilitation, or prehab. Sometimes part of a formalized program — but often not — prehab involves a wide range of measures around the time of surgery to point you toward success. Research suggests prehab can increase the odds you'll heal faster, experience fewer complications, and recover more smoothly over all, especially if you're at higher risk because of age, illness, or frailty.
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About the Author
Maureen Salamon, Executive Editor, Harvard Women's Health Watch
About the Reviewer
Toni Golen, MD, Editor in Chief, Harvard Women's Health Watch; Editorial Advisory Board Member, Harvard Health Publishing; Contributor
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