Prehabilitation for Older Adults Undergoing Liver Resection: Getting Patients and Surgeons Up to Speed

Scarlett Hao, Heidi L. Reis, Ashley W. Quinn, Rebecca A. Snyder, Alexander A. Parikh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objectives: Morbidity rates following liver resection are high, especially among older adult patients. This review aims to evaluate the evidence surrounding prehabilitation in older patients anticipating liver resection and to describe how prehabilitation may be implemented. Design: Problem-based narrative review with case-based discussion. Setting and Participants: All older adults anticipating liver resection inclusive of benign and malignant etiologies in the United States. Methods: Literature search was performed using MeSH terms and keywords in MEDLINE via PubMed, followed by a manual second search for relevant references within selected articles. Articles were excluded if not available in the English language or did not include patients undergoing hepatectomy. Results: Prehabilitation includes a range of activities including exercise, nutrition/dietary changes, and psychosocial interventions that may occur from several weeks to days preceding a surgical operation. Older adult patients who participate in prehabilitation may experience improvement in preoperative candidacy as well as improved postoperative quality of life and faster return to baseline; however, evidence supporting a reduction in postoperative length of stay and perioperative morbidity and mortality is conflicting. A variety of modalities are available for prehabilitation but lack consensus and standardization. For a provider desiring to prescribe prehabilitation, multidisciplinary assessments including geriatric, cardiopulmonary, and future remnant liver function can help determine individual patient needs and select appropriate interventions. Conclusions and Implications: In the older adult patient undergoing liver resection, the current body of literature suggests promising benefits of prehabilitation programs inclusive of functional assessment as well as multimodal interventions. Additional research is needed to determine best practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)547-554
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Medical Directors Association
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Prehabilitation
  • geriatric surgery
  • liver resection
  • preoperative assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Health Policy
  • General Nursing


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