In patients with bladder cancer, poor functional status has remarkable deleterious effects on postoperative outcome and prognosis. Conditioning intervention initiated before surgery has the potential to reduce functional decline attributable to surgery. Nonetheless, evidence is lacking in patients undergoing radical cystectomy.

To determine whether a preoperative multimodal intervention (prehabilitation) is feasible and effective in radical cystectomy.

This study, conducted at an academic tertiary health care institution, enrolled adult patients scheduled for radical cystectomy. From August 2013 to October 2017, 70 patients were randomized: 35 to multimodal prehabilitation (prehab group) and 35 to standard care (control group).

Multimodal prehabilitation was a preoperative conditioning intervention including aerobic and resistance exercise, diet therapy, and relaxation techniques.

Primary outcome was perioperative change in functional capacity, measured with the distance covered during a 6-min walk test (6MWD), assessed at baseline, before surgery, and at 4 and 8 wk after surgery. Data were compared using robust mixed linear models for repeated measures.

Preoperative change in 6MWD compared with baseline was not significantly different between groups (prehab group 40.8 [114.0] m vs control group 9.7 (108.4) m, p=0.250). However, at 4 wk after surgery, a significant difference in functional capacity was detected (6MWD, prehab group -15.4 [142.5] m vs control group -97.9 [123.8] m, p=0.014). No intervention-related adverse effects were reported.

Data suggested that multimodal prehabilitation resulted in faster functional recovery after radical cystectomy.

After major cancer surgery, people usually feel week and tired, and have less energy to perform activities of daily living. In this study, we showed that using the time before surgery to promote exercise and good nutrition could fasten recovery after the surgical removal of the bladder.

European urology focus. 2019 Jun 08 [Epub ahead of print]

Enrico Maria Minnella, Rashami Awasthi, Guillaume Bousquet-Dion, Vanessa Ferreira, Berson Austin, Christine Audi, Simon Tanguay, Armen Aprikian, Francesco Carli, Wassim Kassouf

Department of Anesthesia, McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Electronic address: ., Department of Anesthesia, McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada., Division of Urology, Department of Surgery, McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.