Cardiopulmonary Rehab

  • After a major cardiac (heart) or pulmonary (lung) illness or injury, people need to undergo rehabilitation to regain their strength and independence. The Heart & Vascular Institute at Memorial University Medical Center offers cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation programs to help you get back on your feet. Our programs are accredited by the American Association for Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation.

    Cardiac Rehabilitation

    Cardiac rehabilitation may be prescribed for people who have had one of the following medical conditions or procedures:

    • Myocardial infarction (heart attack)
    • Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery
    • Stable angina pectoris (chest pain)
    • Heart failure

    The Heart & Vascular Institute's cardiac rehabilitation program involves board-certified cardiologists, cardiac registered nurses, exercise physiologists, pharmacists, dietitians, and other healthcare professionals. Our program includes exercise training, education, counseling, and behavioral intervention. Participants attend cardiac rehabilitation three days a week for four to 12 weeks.

    Enhanced External Counterpulsation
    Enhanced External Counterpulsation (EECP) is a state-of-the-art technology that can relieve the crippling chest pain of angina. Angina occurs when the heart doesn’t get enough oxygen. The condition affects more than 7 million Americans and can severely diminish quality of life. Enhanced External Counterpulsation involves placing special cuffs around the calf, lower thighs, and upper thighs. The cuffs are attached to valves that electronically inflate and deflate at the same pace as the heart. When the heart contracts, it pumps blood out. When it relaxes, the EECP cuffs compress, squeezing blood upward through the veins in the legs. Blood is forced toward the heart and coronary arteries. The procedure is not painful. During treatment, the patient simply lies on a cot and reads a book or listens to music.

    Most people receive 35 one-hour EECP sessions. After a series of treatments, patients often begin to notice a decrease in the frequency and severity of angina pain. Many people also find that they have higher exercise capacity and they require less angina medication.

    Medicare and many other third-party payers cover the cost of EECP. For more information about EECP therapy at the Heart & Vascular Institute at Memorial University Medical Center, call 912-350-9534.

    Pulmonary Rehabilitation
    Pulmonary rehabilitation helps people who suffer from chronic respiratory diseases. Rehabilitation may help reduce symptoms, decrease disability, increase participation in various physical and social activities, and improve overall quality of life.

    The Heart & Vascular Institute’s pulmonary rehabilitation program involves board-certified pulmonologists, respiratory therapists, exercise physiologists, registered nurses, and other healthcare professionals. The rehab process includes exercise training, education, counseling, and behavioral intervention. In order to participate in the program, you must quit smoking or become involved in a smoking cessation program. Participants attend rehabilitation twice a week for several weeks or months, depending on their needs.