People living with hepatobiliary and pancreatic cancer (HPB) often suffer from significant weight and muscle loss at diagnosis, which can lead to high complication rates and poor outcomes after surgery. To make patients fitter, better prepared for their surgery and strong enough to deal with post-surgical treatment, a team in Manchester have implemented a unique prehabilitation programme.
The Macmillan Prehabilitation Team offers patients an innovative, integrated pre-operative package of physiotherapy and nutritional support. The team empowers patients to take responsibility for their own care by providing diet and exercise plans tailored to individual needs. They also offer patients rapid access to their clinic, ongoing telephone support and the opportunity to attend gym sessions where they can receive peer support.
‘Having a physiotherapist and a dietitian working together before surgery makes this quite a unique project,’ says Macmillan Senior Specialist HPB Dietitian Neil Bibby. ‘These patients have complex needs to tackle, so you can’t just have a single intervention – it needs to be all hands to the pump.’
‘Physically and mentally the patients are a lot stronger as a result of the service, and our data supports this. Patients just ‘get’ it. It makes sense that getting better before an operation will help you to get better after it.’
If you would like to find out more about the team’s work please email Victoria Cooper, Partnership Quality Lead.