Cardiac Rehabilitation

To contact: 314-251-6337.

Cardiac Rehabilitation is a medical therapy that helps heart patients with coronary artery disease return to a normal, healthy lifestyle after experiencing a heart attack or heart surgery to open narrowed valves. Our Cardiac Rehab team consists of registered nurses, exercise physiologists and respiratory therapists.  We may also refer you to registered dietitians and psychologists. Mercy’s Cardiac Rehabilitation program is accredited with the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation.

Our Cardiac Rehab Gym, located on the sixth floor of the Mercy Heart and Vascular Hospital, is equipped with the latest exercise equipment, such as ellipticals, upright bikes, recumbent stationary bikes, arm cranks and treadmills. The Emergency Department is on the first floor of the hospital for fast evaluation and treatment if necessary. The proximity of the ER to the gym is a great comfort to our heart patients.

Cardiac Rehab has three phases – the first while you are hospitalized, the second as an outpatient and the third as an ongoing program to maintain your health.

Exercise

  • Phase I begins while you are in the hospital with low-level exercise and education about what activity you can do safely. This might include getting up and walking around your room or down the hallway with your physical therapist.
  • Phase II lasts for 12 weeks and begins four weeks after you return home. Your doctor will refer you to this outpatient program and stay in touch with your rehab team for updates on your progress. Your health insurance usually covers this phase of Cardiac Rehab.

You’ll participate in an exercise and activity program that is supervised by our Cardiac Rehab team. During a typical exercise session, you’ll be in large-muscle group activities such as walking on the treadmill, biking and arm exercises. You’ll exercise 30 to 60 minutes, three times a week in our Cardiopulmonary Gym with other heart patients. Your heart rate and blood pressure will be checked before and after you exercise to be sure you stay within safe limits. The team will also monitor your heart with electrocardiogram (EKG) readings and modify your exercise if necessary.

  • Phase III is an ongoing, supervised exercise program in the Cardiopulmonary Gym. You’ll receive supervision, but won’t be monitored as closely. You can participate in the gym or a home exercise program can be designed for you. You’ll pay for this program as you would for a regular exercise program in a gym.

Education

Our team will give you information about coronary artery disease and ways you can reduce your risk of further heart-related problems. You and your family will learn about your medications, how to control your high blood pressure and diabetes, how to cope with stress, how to stop smoking and how to eat heart-healthy foods.

Emotional Support

You’ll benefit from the emotional support of the staff and other patients who have had similar experiences with heart disease.

Why participate?

Cardiac rehabilitation will help you recover in a safe and monitored environment. You’ll become an active partner in the recovery process by taking on the responsibility of maintaining a heart-healthy lifestyle.

Qualified rehabilitation professionals will closely supervise your progress and send regular reports to your doctor. We’ll also watch for any complications that might need medical treatment.

What heart conditions qualify you for cardiac rehab?

  • Heart attack
  • Chest pains (angina pectoris)
  • Coronary artery bypass graft
  • Balloon angioplasty
  • Heart transplant
  • Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD)