Patients with heart problems, including those recovering from bypass surgery, a stent, or a heart attack, often need assistance in improving their heart health and returning to a more active life. Cardiac rehabilitation is a medically supervised program that helps aid recovery and increase patient quality of life through exercise training, education on heart-healthy living, and counseling to reduce stress. Adopting healthy lifestyle changes and addressing risk factors can help a patient recover more fully and reduce the risk of future issues.
Recovery requires the commitment of both patient and care team, and may involve a case manager to help keep things on track. The cardiac rehab team may also include the patient’s primary care physician, a cardiologist or cardiac surgeon, nurses, exercise specialists, physical and occupational therapists, dietitians or nutritionists, and psychologists or other mental health specialists.