Cardiac rehabilitation is physician-supervised, often times physician-prescribed, 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.
What conditions may benefit from cardiac rehabilitation?
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
- congenital heart disease
- rheumatic heart disease
The cardiac rehabilitation program : -
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 cardiac team of 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, the following activities : -
- establishing a progressive exercise program to build fitness and functional capacity
- providing educational classes to help adjust to or change the patient's lifestyle and habits, such as : -
- smoking cessation classes
- nutrition classes
- offering stress management techniques and techniques to reduce anxiety
- counseling and educating the patient with regards to his/her specific heart condition/disease and the best management approach for that specific condition
- preparing the patient to return to work -- equipping him/her to meet the physical and psychological demands of the job
What is Cardiac Rehabilitation?
Cardiac rehabilitation is a multi-dimensional program designed for those who suffer from heart disease. The program reduces their future risk through medical evaluation, prescribed exercise, cardiac risk factor modification, education and counseling.
Goals of the program are to : -
- Decrease further risk of disease or heart attacks
- Instill confidence to resume work and normal activities of daily living
- Begin an exercise program that is safe and effective
- Improve dietary habits and lifestyle
- Speed up the psychological aspects of recovery
Recovery from Bypass Surgery / Angioplasty / Heart Attack
A heart attack or an intervention procedure such as bypass surgery or angioplasty is a consequence of heart disease. After the event, it is crucial to keep your risk factors to a minimum, to keep your arteries free of blockage, which is the main aim of the program. Patients are eligible to join the program one to four weeks after discharge, depending on their medical condition.
Is Cardiac Rehab right for me?
The program is recommended for individuals who have experienced any one or more of the following conditions : -
- Heart attack
- Bypass surgery
- Angioplasty (stent)
- Angiography showing blockage
- Heart valve surgery
- Heart transplant surgery
How will this help me? Studies have shown that Cardiac Rehabilitation significantly reduces the risk of future death and complications of heart disease. The focus of the program is not just on exercise, but to change your lifestyle and risk factors to achieve a long and healthy life, free of heart disease. Will my doctor be involved? Your personal physician and cardiologist are an integral part of your care and will be informed about your progress. They will also be involved in any decision affecting your medical care.
Phases of Cardiac Rehabilitation : -
Phase I : - In the hospital
This begins in the hospital following a heart attack, heart surgery or angioplasty. Low level physical activity begins in the ICU itself and is gradually increased during the stay in hospital. Education on cardiac risk factors is initiated and the patient is advised appropriate lifestyle modification.
Phase II : - Out-patient
The patient attends the program 3 times a week at the Rehabilitation Center. During each session the patient exercises using state-of-the-art portable heart monitoring equipment, known as telemetry. This ensures optimal amount of exercise in the safest manner possible.
An individualized program of lifestyle modification, including in-depth nutrition counseling is planned. All of the patients risk factors are monitored, and kept under strict control. Patients are also introduced to Yoga meditation techniques. The duration of the program is between one and three months, depending on the medical condition.
Phase III : -
This begins on completion of Phase II, once the patient is more independent. The focus continues on education and lifestyle modification and risk reduction. Exercise is performed under supervision, and telemetry is used if indicated.
Other programs : -
In addition to the above, Asian Heart regularly conducts week-end camps, designed to help those who are unable to attend our regular programs. These are usually conducted on Sunday and the goal is to introduce the patient to various risk reduction methods, which they can then follow on their own.
What if I do not have heart disease? We have a 'Heart Disease Prevention Program' for those who are at risk, but have not suffered. An individualized program of exercise, nutrition, and medications (if required) are planned for the person, with a goal to reduce future risk of disease. Tests are carried out before and after the program to assess the cardiac status.
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