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Helping the Heart Through Cardiac Rehab
A rehabilitation program often can help heart patients live better with their disease and recover from medical procedures like surgery and angioplasty.
According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, cardiac rehab services are comprehensive (thorough) and long-term. They include a medical evaluation; exercise under a doctor's supervision; modification of cardiac risk factors; and education, counseling, and behavior modification.
Only a small percentage of the millions of cardiovascular patients, however, get the supervised exercise, stress management, and lifestyle adjustments that can help them recover.
Talk with your doctor
If you are being treated for heart disease, talk with your doctor about how a cardiac rehab program could aid your recovery. Your health care provider can help you devise a program that's right for you, according to your specific needs and health coverage benefits.
Getting worked up over a traffic jam or flying off the handle at a coworker can put some patients at greater risk of a second heart attack. Talk therapy, biofeedback, and meditation can teach relaxation instead of allowing tempers and heart problems to erupt.
The major components of any cardiac rehabilitation program should include the following:
Whatever you need to quit smoking — from wearing a nicotine patch to undergoing hypnosis — do it to quit this habit, says the American Heart Association. You should also avoid exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke since it can also increase your risk of another heart attack.
Blood pressure control
Optimal blood pressure is less than 120/80. Blood pressure that is 120 to 139 for the top number (systolic reading) or 80 to 89 (diastolic) for the bottom number on two or more occasions is considered prehypertension, meaning there is a risk for developing hypertension. High blood pressure is when your blood pressure is 140/90 or higher (for either number) on 3 or more different occasions. Have your blood pressure checked regularly. In most cases, more than one medication may be needed to keep blood pressure under control. Make sure you and your doctor keep track of what you need to do to stay within healthy blood pressure levels.
Consult with your doctor regarding your target total cholesterol and your target low-density lipoprotein, or LDL ("bad") cholesterol. Diet, exercise, and medication can help control cholesterol levels.
You should engage in moderate- to high-intensity exercise 3 to 4 days a week, for an average of 40 minutes at a time. Follow your health care provider's advice on the intensity of your workout.
You should follow a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, as well as fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and mackerel.
Welcome to Broward Health Medical Center's Heart Center of Excellence
Just a few steps away from the parking garage, this magnificent 115,000-square foot facility is designed for convenience. The Heart Center of Excellence includes a separate entrance; providing medical personnel, patients and their families easy access to a wide range of services from prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
The facility consists of:
- Three cardiovascular surgical suites
- Three cardiac catheterization laboratories with state-of-the-art digital equipment for percutaneous coronary intervention
- A comprehensive electrophysiology lab for diagnosing and treating heart arrhythmias, including radiofrequency catheter ablation techniques
- Sixteen-bed cardiovascular intensive care unit (CVICU)
- Eight-bed coronary care unit (CCU)
- Thirty private bed progressive cardiac care unit (PCCU)
- An integrated preventative medicine, cardiac rehab and wellness center, located in the Medical Office Building
- Waiting rooms providing comfortable accommodations for patients and their families
Heart Valve Center
More than five million Americans have heart valve disease, and many do not have any symptoms. The Broward Health Heart Valve Center streamlines the diagnostic and treatment process for patients and referring physicians. The Center is led by national experts in diagnostic cardiac imaging, interventional cardiology, and cardiac surgery. Learn more >