Cardiac Rehabilitation

Cardiac rehabilitation is a physician-supervised program for people who have either congenital or acquired heart disease. Program participants may or may not have had a heart attack or heart surgery (or other heart procedures). Cardiac rehabilitation can often improve functional capacity, reduce symptoms, and create a sense of well-being for patients. A physician may prescribe cardiac rehabilitation for a patient in certain situations.

Conditions or cardiac procedures that may necessitate cardiac rehabilitation may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • congestive heart failure
  • angina pectoris
  • myocardial infarction
  • post-open heart surgery
  • post-heart transplantation
  • balloon angioplasty
  • pacemaker
  • congenital heart disease
  • arrhythmias
  • rheumatic heart disease

Cardiac rehabilitation programs can be conducted while a person is a hospital inpatient or on an outpatient basis. Many skilled professionals are part of the cardiac rehabilitation team, including any/all of the following:

  • cardiologist / cardiovascular surgeon
  • physiatrist
  • internist
  • rehabilitation nurse
  • dietitian
  • physical therapist
  • occupational therapist
  • speech / language therapist
  • psychologist / psychiatrist
  • recreational therapist
  • audiologist
  • chaplain
  • vocational therapist

A cardiac rehabilitation program is designed to meet the needs of the individual patient, depending upon the specific heart problem or disease, and should be supervised by a cardiac physician and a team of cardiac professionals.
The goal of cardiac rehabilitation is to help patients reverse their symptoms and maximize cardiac function. Cardiac rehabilitation includes, but is not limited to:

  • develop an exercise program
  • be knowledgeable about their risk factors
  • learn about their heart condition
  • be prepared for recovery at home

 

 
 
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