Cardiac rehabilitation is an active program that facilitates cardiac patients to recover from a heart attack and other forms of disability due to heart ailments or surgeries.
Cardiac rehabilitation programs improve the cardiac health and quality of life of a cardiac patient. The rehabilitation program includes exercise regimen, education and counselling to enhance the well-being of a cardiac patient.
Cardiac rehabilitation aims to relieve cardiac symptoms, regain physical function, and minimise the risk of subsequent heart problems. Patients with the following conditions are more likely to benefit from a cardiac rehabilitation program:
- Heart attack
- Coronary artery disease (CAD)
- Heart failure
- Angina pectoris (chest pain)
- Congenital heart diseases
- Cardiac surgeries such as CABG (coronary artery bypass grafting), angioplasty, cardiac stent placement, heart transplant, and heart valve replacement.
You may be advised to participate in a cardiac rehabilitation program following your hospital stay. The length of the program varies from 3-6 months depending on the type of treatment or surgery you have undergone. The multidisciplinary rehabilitation team consists of cardiac surgeons, nurse educators, registered dietitians, physical and occupational therapists, and psychologists.
Components of a structured cardiac rehabilitation program include:
- Medical evaluation: A detailed evaluation enables the rehab team to know about your medical limitations and to design a specific rehab plan for you.
- Physical training or Exercise rehabilitation: It is the most important component of the cardiac rehab program. Cardiac exercises improve the functional stability thereby reducing the associated risk factors. Initially, your physical therapist will work with you to ensure that a safe exercise technique is adapted. After discharge, you will start home-based exercises.
- Lifestyle modification: This includes education and counselling about nutrition, weight control, and quitting smoking. A positive control of these factors will allow you to lead a healthy life.
- Emotional support: This refers to psychosocial support to overcome depression and anxiety during the recovery phase. The psychologist recognises and works through the issues that inhibit your recovery. Emotional wellness gives you a balanced and stress-free life.
Cardiac conditions can lead to disability and distressing symptoms. A comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation program rendered by the rehab staff helps you restore the vitality and pleasure of life.