is the name given to all of the processes carried out with the aim of raising the physical, physcological and functional capacity of patients suffering from cardio-vascular diseases. The main goal here is to increase the daily activity of the patient, change the natural course of the disease and improve the quality of life of the individual. Contemporarily, it is practiced after various diseases such as myocardial infarction, coronary artery bypass surgery, coronary angioplasty, installation of pacemaker, diseases or transplants of cardiac valve and heart transplants and presence of cardiomyopathy, coronary failure and hypertension.
Cardiac rehabilitation is practiced to improve physically, socially and psychologically limited, be it private or professional life of the individual, reduce the level of anxiety and depression of the patient, help adapt to the social environment and repair any negative issues related to heart which might arise as a result of a cardiac disease. Cardiac rehabilitiation is a beneficial program for the patient when applied by a specialist team determining the unique condition of the patient, course of the disease and the risk factors.
Cardiac rehabilitation usually consists of 3 phases. Phase 1 (early period) includes the first couple of weeks, phase 2 (intermediary period) includes of the following 4-12 weeks and phase 3 (sustainment) includes the third month and later periods. Phase 1 starts following the recovery phase of the patient at the hospital or post-hospital, after myocardial infarction, angioplasty, coronary artery bypass surgery. Phase 1 begins with medical examination and informing the patient on the rehabiliation process. Steps such as bed exercises, self-care exercises, transition from bed to wheelchair, walking in rooms and halls are carried out. Meanwhile EKG, blood pressure and heart rate are continuously monitored.
As the patients are discharged, they are provided with the necessary medicine, information such as weight loss programs and programs to quit smoking and dietary changes. They are also provided with the exercises to perform until phase 2. Phase 2 starts 2-6 weeks after the patient is discharged and the patient is evaluated and is directed towards a suitable exercise program at the hospital. Phase 3 is when the dietary and exercise programs the patients will follow throughout the rest of their lives are planned. The goal of the exercises in this phase is to regulate blood pressure, help carry out proper breathing and to reduce heart rate. This exercise and dietary program are the rules which the patients must follow for the rest of their lives. As a result, cardiac rehabilitation is modern medicine enabling the continuation of the individual’s life while preserving their quality of life, after heart surgeries.
Goals of cardiac rehabilitation: To strengthen heart, lungs and muscles. To increase fitness. To reduce lipids and cholesterol levels. To instill healthy dietary habits in the patients thus helping them reach and maintain their ideal body weight. To keep high blood pressure under check. To keep blood sugar of diabetic patients under check. To help quit smoking. To ensure that the patients returns to their lives before the illness and help them enjoy it to the fullest extent.