Why does my husband need cardiac rehab?

Dear Dr. Haas,

After a recent heart attack, my husband was told he needs to go to a rehab facility. I’ve never heard of such a thing. Why does he need rehabilitation for his heart?

Sincerely,

Jean

Why does my husband need cardiac rehab?

Dear Jean,

In the past, there was no such thing as a cardiac rehab center. However, research has shown that patients who go through cardiac rehab have a 30 to 40% reduction in incidence of repeated events and a significantly lower mortality rate.

After a heart attack, patients go to cardiac rehab to prepare for life at homeRehab programs may include:

  • Individualized plan of care guided by a clinical cardiac transition coach

  • Activity tolerance monitoring

  • Cardiac-focused physical and occupational therapy

  • Disease management classes and support groups

  • Comprehensive discharge planning and follow-up care

In addition, your husband will receive a heart-healthy, low-sodium diet and be instructed how to change his diet at home. He’ll be told to avoid NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen. And he’ll be educated about the importance of maintaining optimal cholesterol levels, avoiding obesity, and treating high blood pressure.

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How can you live a healthy life with congestive heart failure? Find out here.

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Your support is instrumental in maintaining his health and preventing another heart attack. Staff at the cardiac health center will encourage you to learn with your husband. I hope this information helps you better understand the importance of cardiac rehab.

Dr. Garrie Haas