Perioperative physiotherapy

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Purpose of review

Physiotherapy in the perioperative period is emerging as an important component of postoperative recovery. This review highlights recent advances in the implementation of physiotherapy in the perioperative period and its enhancement of postsurgical outcomes.

Recent findings

Physical therapy in the preoperative period can improve physical deconditioning and potentially affect subsequent postsurgical outcomes. Fast-track surgical programs have highlighted the importance of early ambulation in the postoperative period. Incorporation of this multimodal, evidenced-based approach has been shown to reduce postoperative pulmonary complications and shorten hospital length of stay. Physiotherapy is feasible and well tolerated in patients who remain intubated and mechanically ventilated in the postoperative period. This approach also improves duration of mechanical ventilation and return to functional independence at hospital discharge.


Timely and early physiotherapy in the perioperative period improves surgical recovery and reduces postoperative complications.

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