Cardiac Rehabilitation



What Is Cardiac Rehabilitation?

Yes, you can have an active, healthy life after surviving a heart attack or undergoing life-saving procedures like heart surgery. Cardiac rehabilitation is a medically supervised program that offers extra support, education and coaching to get you on the right track.

Medical insurance and Medicare typically pay for cardiac rehab.

Benefits of Cardiac Rehabilitation

Studies show that participating in cardiac rehab programs can:

  • Increase your life expectancy
  • Reduce hospitalizations for heart-related conditions
  • Lower your risk of having another heart attack
  • Improve your health so you develop fewer heart disease risk factors
  • Reduce depression, anger and anxiety

Aurora’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Program

When you participate in our cardiac rehabilitation program, you take a proactive role in regaining your physical health and mental well-being.

World-Class Care

Aurora’s Comprehensive Cardiac Rehabilitation Services

We understand it can be difficult to start cardiac rehabilitation when you are still feeling unwell or are anxious about your recent heart attack, heart surgery or other condition. But our supportive rehab team – and your fellow program participants – can make recovery easier and even pleasant.

When you choose us for cardiac rehab, you can expect:

  • Excellent results: In a survey of people who have attended at least 28 Phase 2 cardiac rehab sessions at Aurora, participants:
    • Showed an average 50% increase in their physical performance
    • Indicated an average 25% increase in their overall quality of life
  • Convenient locations: With 14 programs throughout the state, you can receive care close to home.
  • Caring professionals: A medical director leads each of our cardiac rehab programs. As you recover, compassionate nurses and exercise physiologists also support you. For issues related to anxiety or depression, we can also refer you to a health psychologist.
  • On-staff dieticians: Many of our programs include full-time, heart-focused dieticians. They provide nutrition counseling and customized food plans. Many cardiac rehab programs do not offer this specialty service.
  • Extensive experience: We run the most established and largest cardiac rehab program in Wisconsin.

What Happens During Cardiac Rehabilitation?

Phase 1: Inpatient cardiac rehab

This phase starts while you are in the hospital, immediately after heart surgery or another treatment.

  • Trained cardiac rehabilitation professionals will help you begin doing gentle exercises to improve your strength, even while you are still in bed.
  • We will begin talking to you about your heart condition risk factors and lifestyle changes you may need to make.

Phase 2: Outpatient cardiac rehab

Depending on your diagnosis, insurance (including Medicare) usually covers this portion of rehab.

This phase usually starts one to four weeks after you return home. You will need a referral from your doctor to participate. You most likely will attend up to three cardiac rehab sessions a week for up to 36 sessions.

The program includes supervised exercise at an Aurora hospital or clinic. We also offer:

  • Close oversight: As you exercise, we regularly monitor your heart rate, heart rhythm and blood pressure.
  • Variety of movement: You will use several different pieces of exercise equipment, such as a treadmill, stationary bike and elliptical machine.
  • Education: We offer both group and individual counseling sessions aimed at reducing your risk of future heart problems.
  • Health coaching: Our nurses, exercise physiologists and dieticians will teach you how to practice healthy habits, such as:
    • Regular physical activity
    • Heart-healthy eating
    • Quitting smoking
    • Managing your weight, blood pressure and cholesterol and more

Phase 3: Maintenance

During this phase, you will work on maintaining the good habits you have learned with the continued support of our cardiac rehab staff and your fellow participants.

You may want to continue attending supervised classes and exercise sessions, but check with your health insurer. They may not cover the cost.

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