Prehabilitation for major abdominal urologic oncology surgery

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Purpose of review

Whether prehabilitation in radical cystectomy adds to the effort of reducing postoperative morbidity and impairments in the survivorship phase has until recently received limited attention. This narrative review aims to summarize the current evidence base on prehabilitaion interventions focusing on the efficacy of procedure-specific interventions and the influence on postoperative outcomes.

Recent findings

Given the oncological risk, there is a relative short window to intervene and proactively optimize the patient before radical cystectomy. Preliminary results are however promising and a single-center randomized controlled trial (RCT) has shown that home-based short-term physical prehabilitation is feasible and effective and significantly improves early mobilization, time to perform activities of daily living and health-related quality of life (HRQoL). No significant impact on length of stay or complications was found. Limited evidence support preoperative nutritional interventions in cancer surgery, although evidence suggests improved outcome if malnourished individuals are adequately fed 7–10 days before surgery. No RCTs have evaluated the effect of smoking or alcohol cessation interventions on complications or HRQoL in radical cystectomy. Patient education interventions focusing on stoma care improve significantly self-efficacy in regards to independently change of stoma-appliance up to 1 year postoperatively. Currently, there is no evidence of early intervention considering psychological well being, sexual health or shared decision-making.


Published data indicate that a group of preoperative multiprofessional interventions including physical exercises, supportive nutritional care and stoma education can postoperatively improve early mobilization, self-efficacy and HRQoL. No evidence for further reduction of length of stay or complications was found.

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