Cardiac Rehabilitation

Heart Hospital of Lafayette's Cardiac Rehab Program was awarded certification through the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation. AACVPR-certified programs are recognized as leaders in the field of cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation because they offer the most advanced practices available.

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What is Cardiac Rehabilitation?

Cardiac rehabilitation, or cardiac rehab, refers to an individualized treatment plan designed to help you recover from a heart attack, heart disease or heart surgery. Recommended by both the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology, cardiac rehabilitation programs are shown to increase your chances of survival after cardiac trauma. Your personal cardiac rehab plan includes a thorough evaluation along with instruction on physical activity, nutrition, stress management, and other health related areas.

Who benefits from Cardiac Rehab?

Cardiac rehab is an option for people of all ages and with many forms of heart disease. Even individuals older than 65 will benefit from cardiac rehabilitation, so don't let age stand in the way of your cardiac health. In particular, you may benefit from cardiac rehabilitation if your medical history includes:

  • Heart attack
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Heart failure
  • Peripheral arterial disease
  • Chest pain (angina)
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Certain congenital heart diseases
  • Coronary artery bypass surgery
  • Angioplasty and stents
  • Heart transplant
  • Heart valve replacements

How do I get started in Cardiac Rehab?

Although it may be difficult to start a cardiac rehabilitation program when you're not feeling well, the long-term benefits are worth the effort. Cardiac rehabilitation allows you to return to an active lifestyle, with more motivation and energy to do the things you enjoy. If you've had a heart attack or heart surgery or if you have another heart condition, ask your doctor about joining a cardiac rehabilitation program. A referral form must be completed by your doctor and faxed to (337) 470-1331. You can download this form by clicking the link below. Insurance and Medicare often cover the costs of cardiac rehabilitation.

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Four Aspects of Cardiac Rehab

1. Medical Evaluation

Initial and ongoing evaluation helps your health care team check your physical abilities, medical limitations and other conditions you may have, and keep track of your progress over time. Your health care team looks at your risk factors for heart disease, stroke or high blood pressure and tailors a safe, effective cardiac rehabilitation program to suit your individual needs.

2. Physical Activity

Cardiac rehabilitation improves your cardiovascular fitness through walking, cycling, rowing, jogging and other endurance activities. Strength training may also be prescribed to increase your muscular fitness. In general, you will exercise three to five times a week and will be taught proper exercise techniques, such as warming up and stretching. If you've never exercised before, don't worry. Your cardiac rehabilitation team will design a program that is comfortable and safe for you.

3. Lifestyle Education

Our lifestyle choices include diet, exercise, healthy (and unhealthy) habits, and how we manage stress, pain and fatigue. Your doctor will provide nutritional guidance to help you shed excess weight and learn to make healthier food choices aimed at reducing fat, sodium and cholesterol in your diet. You may receive support and educational information on making lifestyle changes and breaking unhealthy habits, such as smoking, and will also learn appropriate stress and pain management techniques. Your doctor will also monitor your prescription medications, and help you transition back into normal daily activities.

4. Support

Adjusting to a serious or chronic health problem takes time. You may feel depressed or anxious, lose touch with your social support system, or have to stop working for several weeks. Depression can make your cardiac rehab program more difficult, as well as impact your relationships and other areas of your life and health. Take the necessary measures to stay healthy physically and emotionally. If you feel depressed, anxious, or experience other debilitating symptoms, talk with your doctor. Counseling, vocational/occupational therapy and drug therapies are available to help you learn healthy ways to cope with depression and develop new skills so you can return to work.

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