Physical Therapy after Heart Surgery
After a heart procedure, many patients will receive cardiac rehabilitation while still in the hospital. This usually begins very slowly, and is often in the beginning to manage the care of the incision area and swelling. While most patients begin cardiac rehabilitation after a heart attack or procedure, the time in between the procedure and the rehabilitation in terms of exercise varies greatly.
Cardiac rehabilitation consists of several facets and levels of care. The rehabilitation program is catered to each patient by providing education about their particular illness and health, build up their physical fitness regimen, and move forward in reaching the goal of a healthy lifestyle. Often within the rehabilitation programs, counseling is provided to help patients understand the process of making healthy dietary choices, smoking cessation, weight loss, and how to effectively manage stress.
Many patients that have had a heart attack or a heart procedure require continued physical therapy to regain their daily functions. Usually, individuals that have had a heart condition will be assigned a therapist while they are still in the hospital in order to keep them on a regular schedule for recovery. This professional works with the physician and surgeon to develop the proper cardiac-care therapy for each patient.
Physical therapy after a heart procedure will vary depending on the patient and diagnosis, and will begin slowly and build up over time. Activity can include walking, balancing activities, mobility exercises, and activities to increase the amount of oxygen to the heart. Once released from the hospital, it will be recommended that they continue physical therapy either as an outpatient at the hospital, at a rehabilitation center, or at a clinic. Some physical therapists even come to the patient’s home for the sessions. Either way, physical therapy done consistently after a heart procedure will greatly help the patient once again live a normal life.