What is Cardiac Rehabilitation?
Is it safe?
What is the goal of Cardiac Rehabilitation?
What can I expect during Cardiac Rehabilitation?
When can I start and how long does it last?
What about payment?
What happens after I complete Cardiac Rehabilitation?
Cardiac rehabilitation is an individualized outpatient program that begins with a comprehensive assessment by a registered nurse. Based on the assessment and physician recommendations, a specially designed exercise plan is developed. The program also provides risk factor counseling, periodic evaluations, and exercise plan modifications to keep you on track toward a healthy heart.
A physician referral is required for admission to the program. You may qualify if you have coronary heart disease and have experienced a recent heart attack, are having anginal attacks, or have had heart surgery. Talk with your physician to determine if you are eligible.
While participating in the cardiac rehabilitation program, you are under the care and supervision of specially trained staff. While exercising, you will wear an EKG heart monitor to continuously monitor your heart. The cardiac staff will also monitor your vital signs, including blood pressure and oxygen saturation during each session. The staff, certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support, will closely monitor your session to make sure your exercise is safe and appropriate for your condition and specific needs. Staff communicates with physicians regularly about your progress or untoward changes in your medical condition.
Our mission is to provide a safe and comprehensive program including guided exercise and education to reduce your risk of developing complications from heart disease. Our environment is specially designed to meet your needs and improve your health.
The program works to provide improvements in the following:
- Work capacity: your body will be able to do more work without increasing the oxygen required by your heart.
- Blood pressure: exercise can be beneficial in lowering blood pressure, a primary goal for treatment of heart disease.
- Heart Rate: through physical reconditioning, your heart rate and respiratory rate will be slower at rest and during exercise. This reduces the workload on the heart and means your normal activities of daily living can be accomplished with more comfort and ease.
Other Benefits From Cardiac Rehabilitation Include:
- Detection and control of irregular heart beats
- Detection and control of post-hospital (late) complications
- Review of medications and evaluation of their effectiveness for your condition
- Professional communication with your physician
- Lowering your total cholesterol level
- Improving your HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol)
- Management of weight or weight loss
- Education for you and your family for reducing risk factors and understanding your disease process
- Making healthy lifestyle changes
- Building your overall physical and emotional well-being
Our facility offers rehabilitation on an outpatient basis. This means that you will be able to start after you are discharged from the hospital from your procedure. Upon discharge from the hospital, your physician will make a referral for the outpatient cardiac rehabilitation program. Your specific diagnosis or type of surgery will determine how long your recovery period will be before starting the program. Your physician or the rehabilitation staff will help you plan the most appropriate time.
The length of the outpatient program can vary from patient to patient, depending on such factors as the beginning level of fitness, the goals of the patient, or insurance coverage. The length of your program will be individualized to provide you the most appropriate level of care. Some patients may initially qualify for 36 visits that are usually completed over a three month period with exercise sessions held on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
Many insurance plans including Medicare provide coverage for cardiac rehabilitation. You may want to check with your plan for specific limitations or co-pays that may apply.
After a patient completes the cardiac rehabilitation program there are several options for maintaining improvements toward a healthy lifestyle. The cardiac rehabilitation department offers a maintenance program called LifeTrax where you can participate in supervised exercise. You may feel ready to get a gym membership and exercise on your own, or some patients are comfortable with continuing their exercise routines at home. Regardless of the route you choose, we encourage you to continue working toward a healthy heart.