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Heart Care

Cardiac Rehabilitation

Watch Molly's Story

31-Year-Old Turns to St. Luke's Following Heart Disease Diagnosis

At 31, Molly began to experience chest pain, which she initially attributed to anxiety and stress. Following a cardiac catheterization, she was diagnosed with early-onset coronary heart disease and was referred to St. Luke's Heart & Vascular Institute and Craig Reiss, MD, for follow-up care.

Your rehabilitation will begin soon after you are discharged so you can return to living the life you are accustomed to, but with the added knowledge, confidence and strength attained by participating in this life-changing program. Your participation in cardiac rehabilitation is important. According to the American Heart Association, cardiac rehabilitation can reduce cardiovascular mortality by over 50% compared to those who don't participate. 

St. Luke's Hospital offers our patients both Pritikin Intensive Cardiac Rehabilitation (ICR) and Traditional Cardiac Rehabilitation (CR). The patient will be referred to the appropriate program by their physician depending upon their individual needs and capabilities. Both programs, however, concentrate on strengthening both your heart and your spirit through lessons focused on three areas of concentration: eating heart-healthy meals, proper exercise and modified behaviors that lead to longer and healthier lives. 

Patients will have access to monitored exercise sessions and education. The security of being monitored will help reduce your anxiety about exercise and physical activity at home. Spouses and family members are encouraged to attend group education classes.

Cardiac Rehabilitation
The Cardiac Rehabilitation Program at St. Luke's Hospital will expose patients to new information about living a healthier and more rewarding lifestyle. Many patients are able to take this information and expertise and achieve functional levels that exceed what they were capable of prior to the cardiac event. The process is not easy, but through hard work, personalized education and support from the dedicated, multidisciplinary staff, patients have a better chance of overcoming a cardiac event.

St. Luke's Cardiac Rehabilitation Program covers many diagnoses: heart attack in the last 12 months, current stable angina, coronary angioplasty and stents, coronary artery bypass surgery, valve surgery, stable systolic heart failure and heart transplants.

Phases of Cardiac Rehabilitation
The rehabilitation program includes three distinct phases, all designed to allow the patient to better manage their health following their procedure or event.

Phase I (Inpatient Cardiac Rehab) helps the patient re-acquaint themselves with normal, everyday activities immediately following surgery - like walking and sitting up in bed.

Phase II (Early Outpatient Cardiac Rehab) begins soon after discharge and includes a progressive, telemetry-monitored exercise session and education. An exercise session consists of large muscle group activities such as treadmill walking, biking, Nu-step exerciser and arm exercises for 30 to 60 minutes, three times per week. The intensity of the exercise is adjusted individually depending upon your heart rate, blood pressure, electrocardiogram (EKG) and perceived exertion. Group and/or individual education is provided on topics such as the Benefits of Exercise, Heart Facts & Medications, Heart Healthy Nutrition, Smoking Cessation and Stress Management. Spouses and family members are encouraged to attend education classes. The goal of this program is to strengthen your heart and increase your endurance while giving you the knowledge to slow the progression of heart disease. The security of being monitored will help reduce your anxiety about exercise and physical activity at home.

Phase III (Wellness), when medically appropriate, allows the patient to train independently under the supervision of an exercise physiologists. The goal is to continue living healthy lifestyle while being able to ask questions of trained staff members.

For more information, please call 314-864-3501 or 314-205-6882.