Clinical Specialist Dietitian

Siobhan Power

Siobhán is a Clinical Specialist Dietitian who has been working in the area of general and colorectal surgery since 2008. She is passionate about using nutrition to help patients prepare for and recover from major surgery.

In recent years Siobhán’s attention has been drawn to the emerging science of surgical prehabilitation. Prehabilitation prepares patients to ‘weather the storm’ of their operation by engaging in healthful behaviours in the months leading up to surgery. Her motivation to develop a series of animated prehabilitation videos was down to her conviction that patients waiting for surgery could take steps to get themselves physically and emotionally ready for surgery if they had access to the right information.

You can watch the videos by clicking this link

Siobhán says her biggest learning about this particular innovation was that “Progress is not linear. Even for a ‘simple’ project like mine, there were plenty of bumps in the road. However, if you engage a great team from the start, the support is there to help you navigate the inevitable challenges.”

Her advice to anyone trying to develop a new project at the Hospital is to, “First talk to the Innovate Health team in the hospital. That’s where this project started. The Innovation Team can open doors for you and link you with the right people from the start. It’s thanks to the Spark Ignite Innovation Competition that our team secured seed funding for this project. Secondly, I benefitted hugely from participating in Quality Improvement Training here at TUH which equipped me to run this project effectively.”

Siobhán has a long track record in innovation. She introduced the nasal bridle to TUH – the first time such a device was used on the island of Ireland – and went on to publish a research paper on its implementation. A nasal bridle is a securement method used to discourage patients, young or old, from dislodging their nasal feeding tube.

Siobhán also championed the distal feeding technique in TUH for patients with intestinal failure as a means to wean them from parenteral supports. Distal feeding means inserting a feeding tube into the patient’s fistula/stoma which administers a liquid feed into the small bowel. Siobhán subsequently presented at the Sir Peter Freyer Surgical Symposium on this innovative feeding technique.

What’s next?
Siobhán would love to forge links with community partners with a view to developing an in-person prehabilitation program for at-risk patients scheduled for elective surgery in TUH.