American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

Strong for Surgery News


Want better surgical results? Get patients to step up.

AAMC, May 21, 2019

“A key predictor of surgical success is a patient’s nutritional status, says Strong for Surgery, an initiative hosted by the American College of Surgeons that promotes evidence-based practices to boost preoperative health. And, it notes, malnutrition is prevalent among surgical patients.”


Exercise before surgery can reduce complications, ease pain

Texarkana Gazette, December 21, 2018

“In addition to working out, making upgrades to your lifestyle habits can improve your outcome. The American College of Surgeons has implemented the Strong for Surgery program, which focuses on helping with smoking cessation and improving nutrition for people with Type 2 diabetes so they attain better glucose control. The result: reduction of postoperative complications and improved healing and postoperative recovery.”

Putting surgical site infection bundles into practice

Contemporary OB/GYN, November 7, 2018

“The American College of Surgeons has developed a free resource, Strong for Surgery, which is a public health campaign to evaluate evidence-based practices to optimize preoperative care prior to surgery and minimize SSI. The Strong for Surgery website provides resources including a toolkit for development of presurgical checklists. The focus of the checklists is on four key areas: nutrition, smoking, blood sugar, and medication.”


“Strong for Surgery” Shows Promise in Reducing Smoking Rates for Patients Facing Surgery

July 24, 2017

When surgeons get involved, the Strong for Surgery program shows promise in dramatically reducing smoking rates for patients facing surgery.

Smoking Cessation Soars with Presurgical Checklist Program

HealthLeaders, July 24, 2017

“A presurgical health-optimization program known as Strong for Surgery has shown dramatic results in getting patients to quit smoking before elective back surgery, according to research presented this week at the American College of Surgeons (ACS) 2017 Quality and Safety Conference.”

Getting in Shape for Surgery

Healthline, April 24, 2017

“Now, the American College of Surgeons is ramping up a program called Strong for Surgery.

The idea is simple.

'In all other areas of life you show up prepared. You should do the same thing for surgery’ said Dr. Thomas K. Varghese Jr., general thoracic surgeon, an associate professor at the University of Utah School of Medicine, and a fellow with the American College of Surgeons."


National Impact: American College of Surgeons Takes Charge of Strong for Surgery

April 26, 2016

We recently announced that Strong for Surgery has been adopted by the American College of Surgeons, and oversight of the program will soon be shifting to this influential national organization. As this transition moves forward, we'll share updates through this blog, our newsletter, Twitter, and Facebook. Expect more great things to come!


The Nutrition Checklist & Surgical Outcomes

September 1, 2015

This summer we began a study designed to examine the impact of the Strong for Surgery Nutrition Checklist on surgical outcomes. To do this, we're looking at two Washington State hospital datasets: the Surgical Care and Outcomes Assessment Program (SCOAP) will provide information about procedures, and the Comprehensive Hospital Abstract Reporting System (CHARS) will give further insight into inpatient hospital admissions and discharge information. By linking these two sources, we can get a better picture of how use of the Nutrition Checklist has influenced how well patients do after surgery.

We believe the Strong for Surgery Nutrition Checklist has helped improve care and outcomes in hospitals that have implemented it around the Northwest since the program started in 2012. Our hope is that this study will provide strong data to support further use and adoption of the checklist in the Northwest and beyond! We'll continue to share updates about this work through this blog, Twitter, and Facebook. Follow us for more great things to come!

Strong for Surgery Celebrates 3 Years of Improving Patient Outcomes

May 14, 2015

Strong for Surgery launched in Washington State three years ago on May 14, 2012, at the SCOAP Annual Meeting. At that time, Medical Director, Dr. Tom Varghese Jr. had an ambitious goal: to help every surgical patient become healthier and better prepared for their surgery. His enthusiasm caught the attention of clinicians and healthcare organizations all over the Northwest, and the Strong for Surgery program has grown from our first six pilot sites to now 50 hospitals and clinics representing more than 200 surgeons. By our estimates, over 5,500 patients have been screened using the Strong for Surgery checklists to help optimize their health for surgery!

We attribute our success to our dedicated stakeholders—from surgeon champions and enthusiastic clinicians, to community leaders—and we are incredibly grateful for the support we’ve received. As we celebrate this exciting milestone, we look forward to more exciting developments to be announced in the near future. Stay up-to-date with Strong for Surgery by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook, subscribing to our newsletter, and reading our blog.

Want to bounce back fast from surgery? Here’s what you can do.

Washington Post, March 23, 2015

“Ask your doctor whether and when to stop taking drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen, which can increase bleeding risks. Ask about supplements such as vitamin E as well. Strong for Surgery advises people to stop echinacea, garlic, ginkgo, ginseng, kava, saw palmetto, St. John’s wort and valerian at least two weeks before surgery.”