UW Medicine Newsroom | December 18, 2018

Doctors are increasingly urging patients to bolster their physical health before going under the knife.

Dr. Venu Pillarisetty, Associate Professor, Division of General Surgery

Got a surgery coming up? Get out and walk. Your surgeon wants you fit.

“Instead of calling it ‘rehab,’ call it ‘pre-hab,’ says Venu G. Pillarisetty, associate professor of surgery at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

“I ask patients to work up to walking two miles a day before their surgery. That’s because if I want my patients walking after a surgery, and I do, they obviously need to be able to walk before surgery,” Pillarisetty said.

A recent story in the Washington Post  characterized presurgical fitness as a trend, but it wasn’t news to Pillarisetty and other UW Medicine clinicians.

“I started telling patients this when I first came here nine years ago. I eventually came up with two miles a day because it’s a reasonable target and sounds good. Most people can do two miles, especially if it’s not all at once,” Pillarisetty said. MORE