Oncology Surgical Intervention and Pertinent Post-Operative Effects on the Body Systems (36:56)

a seminar included in:

COURSE: Core Competencies in Interdisciplinary Cancer Rehabilitation

with contributions from:
  • Adrienne Goodman, RN - Oncology Nurse


In the oncology population, surgery is often a first-line treatment modality for localized solid tumors. In this presentation, Dr. Bentrem discusses the goals of cancer surgery and the possible post-operative effects on the body systems caused by surgery, medications, hospitalization, and immobility. Dr. Bentrem educates the audience in general surgical impairments by disease-type as well as post-surgical safety considerations and guidelines.

In the second half of the presentation, Kristin Carroll explains the role of the interdisciplinary cancer care team and the importance of a unified approach in providing post-surgical interventions for optimized function and quality of life. The phases of healing are reviewed as the basis for protocol and guideline development to support and protect healing structures while maximizing patient function and minimizing post-operative effects.

The goals of the interdisciplinary team during the acute and sub-acute points on the continuum of care are reviewed, as well as specific interventions that should be considered for holistic care, based on the multi-level needs of the surgical population. Examples of targeted rehabilitation in breast cancer and head & neck cancer populations are reviewed to highlight the importance of evidence-based medicine, which is required to drive the treatment plan of care and protocols.

This interdisciplinary team presentation highlights care communication and coordination that is essential, both pre and post-surgically, to foster healthy behaviors, best possible outcomes, and overall survivorship.


  • Discuss the goal of surgery as an intervention for cancer treatment
  • Review common post-operative effects on the body systems
  • Discuss post-operative complications in the oncology population
  • Explain specific impairments related to disease specific surgical intervention
  • Discuss the role of the interdisciplinary cancer rehabilitation team before and after cancer surgical intervention