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Healthy diet, exercise has positive impact on surgical recovery, study finds

SEATTLE, Wash. - If you or a loved-one are going under the knife anytime soon, scientists suggest thinking about walking a couple miles every day or eating more greens leading up to your procedure. According to a new study conducted by the University of Washington School of Medicine, "Pre-hab" is the new "rehab."

Dr. Venu Pillarisetty, associate professor of surgery at UW School of Medicine, and Sara Daniel, also from UW School of Medicine's department of surgery, fronted a new study that looked at whether or not healthy eating and exercise affected post-operation recovery.

The study found that 64 percent of patients that were encouraged to walk two miles a day and consume certain food and drink recovered within five days from their operation. It is important to note that the patients who were studied underwent a pancreaticoduodenectomy, which is typically to treat pancreatic cancer, and can leave patients in the ICU for a significant amount of time post-operation.

Only 36 percent of participants who were studied prior to exercise and diet encouragement were able to recover in five days, which suggests that the more time you spend on your feet and exercising pre-operation, means less time in recovery.

“The stronger you are before an operation, the stronger you will be after the operation," Pillarisetty said in a statement regarding the study.

For more information and to read data from the study, click here.


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