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Get Fit First For Surgery

Getting fit first

Do you know that many life choices can affect your long-term health? For example, being overweight or a smoker can lead to a number of serious, potentially life-threatening conditions. It can also increase you chance of developing complications during or after an operation. However, by taking care of yourself you can reduce these risks.

Health and wellbeing programme

Our health and wellbeing programme aims to make sure you are in the best possible health, and are able to recover better afterwards, when you go for a routine, non-urgent operation.

If you have a BMI of 30 or over, or you are a smoker, you will be encouraged to attend a weight management service or a stop smoking service. You will receive support to lose weight or quit smoking, to improve your health, reduce the risks and stay healthy before and after your operation.

If you take steps to improve your health and lose weight, you are more likely to have:

  • a faster recovery from your operation
  • better wound healing
  • a shorter stay in hospital
  • no need for intensive care
  • no need for further surgery

Support to lose weight

If you have a BMI of 30 or over and need a routine, non-urgent operation, you will be encouraged to attend a weight management service for a 6-month period, to help you lose weight, improve your health, reduce the risks and stay healthy prior to and after your operation.

It is easier to stick with a weight loss plan when you have support. If you agree to take part in our health and wellbeing programme, your GP can refer you to a free weight management service. An advisor will work with you to set goals and motivate you along the way and can spend time talking through the challenges you’re facing, providing information you can trust. There is also lots of great advice online at www.nhs.uk/livewell or you may chose to do something which better suits you.

You can check your BMI at nhs.uk/BMI

For more information talk to your GP. A patient leaflet is available here. This will be available at your GPs too. 

Support to stop smoking

Did you know you are four times more likely to stop smoking with help? If you agree to take part in our health and wellbeing programme, you will be encouraged to contact our free health trainers stop smoking service. Advisors at Smokefree Yorkshire will help you work out how to start your quit process, set a quit date and provide you with nicotine replacement therapy to support you and help make sure you successful.

At the end of your 6-month health and wellbeing programme, or when you have stopped smoking for more than 12 weeks, you can make a follow-up appointment with your GP practice to talk about your health and recommendations for your operation. You will get the most benefit by remaining smokefree up to and after surgery.

For more information talk to your GP. A patient leaflet is available here. This will be available at your GPs too. 

Exemptions to the programme

Your GP practice will invite you to take part in the health and wellbeing programme if you need a routine, non-urgent operation, have a BMI of 30 or above, or you smoke. There are a number of exemptions, where you will not have to take part in the programme if you:

  • Need urgent or emergency surgery
  • Need surgery for cancer
  • Require tests for suspicion of cancer
  • Do not smoke and have a BMI of 30 or greater, but have a waist measurement less than 94cm/37 inches (if you’re a male) 20cm/31.5 inches (if you’re a female)
  • Have a severe mental health illness, learning disability or significant cognitive impairment
  • Have been referred for a diagnostic intervention e.g. endoscopy
  • Are under, 18 years of age
  • Only use electronic cigarettes.

For more information, talk to your GP at your next appointment.

 

Click here to read the commissioning policy on Get Fit First in Barnsley (quality & safety section).