Cardiac rehabilitation

What is cardiac rehabilitation?

Cardiac rehabilitation is a programme designed to help patients who have had a heart attack or undergone heart surgery to get back on their feet through exercise, lifestyle changes and being informed about how to overcome their cardiac problems. Cardiac rehabilitation is meant to be supportive for the patient and family to help them get back to day-to-day life.

Why is cardiac rehabilitation done?

Cardiac rehabilitation aims to make recovery for cardiac patients a team effort, rather than having patients face the burden of recovery on their own. With proper guidance and education, it is hoped that patients can get back to everyday activities sooner and avoid future cardiac events.

Who is cardiac rehabilitation for?

Cardiac rehabilitation can be suitable for people who have:

What does cardiac rehabilitation involve?

There are three key parts of a successful cardiac rehabilitation programme:

  1. Exercise – to improve your cardiovascular health, you may be visited by a nurse or physiotherapist to help tailor a programme of exercises for you.
  2. Education – about how to live a healthy cardiac lifestyle, with information provided on diet, smoking cessation and how to manage your risk factors.
  3. Counselling – this part aims to reduce stress in a patient’s life and give guidance on how stress can be better managed.

How do you prepare for cardiac rehabilitation?

No preparation is required for cardiac rehabilitation, and you will normally be visited by a member of the cardiac rehabilitation team as soon as you are in recovery in hospital. You will be informed thoroughly about your condition, the treatment you will require and the ongoing recovery. Once you have left the hospital, you will usually begin the programme four to eight weeks following surgery.

What happens after cardiac rehabilitation?

Following completion of cardiac rehabilitation, it is important to continue the exercises and new healthy lifestyle to ensure your cardiac health remains so long term.

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