"Prehab" Improves Outcomes

Drs. Englesbe and Wang

Trauma surgeon Stewart Wang, M.D., Ph.D., left, in collaborative research with the auto industry, has proven that body type strongly influences chance of survival and risk of serious injury following an automobile crash. His work will support the development of passenger-specific safety systems in vehicles that can optimally protect each individual occupant. Studying thousands of CT scans of crash victims, his insights led to a whole new field of medicine called analytic morphomics. Inspired by Dr. Wang’s findings, transplant surgeon Michael Englesbe, M.D., right, applied this same approach to patients undergoing major surgeries or treatments. Through the analysis of a patient’s CT scan, physicians can determine how "fit" the patient is for surgery and prescribe a training program that significantly improves outcomes. Today, dozens of faculty are investigating the technique across multiple areas of medicine, and Drs. Wang and Englesbe are piloting the first-ever surgical "prehab" program throughout the state of Michigan.