Cardiac rehabilitation is a doctor-supervised program for people who have heart disease. Participants may or may not have had a heart attack or heart surgery (or other heart procedures). Cardiac rehabilitation often can improve functional capacity, reduce symptoms, and create a sense of well-being for patients.
Conditions That May Benefit from Cardiac Rehabilitation
A cardiac rehabilitation program is designed to meet the needs of the individual.
Conditions or cardiac procedures that may necessitate cardiac rehabilitation may include:
- Angina pectoris
- Myocardial infarction (heart attack)
- Post-open heart surgery
- Post-heart transplantation
- Balloon angioplasty
- Stent placement
- Congenital heart disease
- Rheumatic heart disease
- Heart failure
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 doctor and a team of cardiac professionals. The program's length may range from six weeks to a year or longer and depends upon the patient’s needs.
The goal of cardiac rehabilitation is to help patients reverse symptoms and maximize cardiac function. Cardiac rehabilitation includes, but is not limited to, these activities:
- Establishing a progressive exercise program to build fitness and functional capacity
- Providing classes to help adjust to or change the patient's lifestyle and habits, such as: smoking cessation or nutrition classes
- Offering stress management techniques and techniques to reduce anxiety
- Counseling and educating the patient regarding to his or her specific heart condition or disease and the best management approach for that specific condition
- Preparing the patient to return to work by equipping him or her to meet the physical and psychological demands of the job
Disclaimer: This material provides general information only. It should not be used in place of advice, instructions, or treatment given by your doctor or other health care professional.