Study for Patients Planning to Undergo Abdominal Surgery for Colorectal, Hepatobiliary, or Gynecologic Cancer

UVA Tracking #
Principal Investigator
Traci Hedrick
Contact Phone
Official Trial Title
Evaluation of the Feasibility of Wearable Technology-Guided Exercise Preconditioning to Accelerate Return to Function after Cancer Surgery
Study Description

The University of Virginia Cancer Center is conducting a clinical research study for patients undergoing surgery for colorectal, hepatobiliary, or gynecologic cancer. Studies have shown that people who are more physically fit before surgery do better after surgery. The purpose of this study is to test two physical activity interventions and a “control” group to make sure that participants can do the interventions and also to see if there are changes in activity and fitness in each group.

Participants will be randomly assigned to the moderate continuous activity group, high intensity interval training group, or standard clinical care. Participants in the activity groups will be asked to walk at different intensities based on the assigned group during the time before surgery. All participants will receive and wear an Apple Watch during this period and for at least 30 days after surgery, though participants in the standard care group will not see their activity data on the watch until after surgery. For participants in the exercise group, an application will be added on their phone to help them work up to the exercise goals. All participants will be asked to complete questionnaires about pain, quality of life, and exercise/physical activity throughout the study, and to walk as fast as they can for 6 minutes multiple times during the study in order to get a measure of fitness. Participants can also complete a more significant fitness test on a treadmill, though this is optional. Participants will not get to choose which group they are assigned.

Participants will be followed for about 6 months after their surgery. Study-specific tests that are being done beyond standard of care will be provided at no cost to the patient/participant or his/her/their insurance.

Additional information can be found here: Prehab Exercise -
Please contact for additional information.


Participants that agree to the optional fitness testing on the treadmill will receive compensation for each test completed (at baseline and/or just prior to surgery).