Fit for Surgery
Dr. Paul Oh
Dr. Paul Oh helps patients recover faster by prescribing pre-surgery workouts.

How "pre-hab" gets patients physically ready for operations.

As advanced as cardiac surgery has become, recovery is still difficult. It can take months for patients to resume their normal activities, even with post-op rehabilitation. Most people think rest and relaxation are what's needed before surgery, but clinicians at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre are telling patients to do something else: a rigorous workout. That might seem counterintuitive, but the Centre has found that "pre-hab" programs, where patients undergo an exercise regimen for weeks or even months before their operation, can speed up the recovery time in cardiovascular surgery patients. The Centre is the leader in pre-hab research and implementation thanks to its team, which includes Dr. Paul Oh, Medical Director of the Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation Program at Toronto Rehab and the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre and GoodLife Fitness Chair in Cardiovascular Rehabilitation and Prevention, and research scientist Dr. Tracey Colella. We spoke to Dr. Oh about the benefits of pre-hab.