Benefits of physical therapy after cardiac surgery
It is natural to feel weak and wanting to stay in bed following cardiac surgery. However nowadays doctors are getting patients out of bed the day following surgery. This is to prevent the person from becoming too weak and to avoid the risk of blood clots. Cardiac rehab, when started early, can stave off future attacks and place the person in a higher survival category.
Many people think that walking around the neighborhood is all that is needed to restore their health, but walking alone cannot provide all the benefits of a formal cardiac program. Someone who has recently been discharged following cardiac surgery needs to be supervised during physical activity to ensure that nothing goes wrong. During the program, the patient's vital signs are carefully monitored, and he is taught to perform the exercises correctly.
Cardiac rehab reduces problems such as chest pain, shortness of breath and fatigue by reinforcing cardiac and post-surgical precautions. With carefully graded activities, the patient's capacity for exercise increases, allowing for a gradual return to activities of daily living. Another advantage of the program is control of the person's blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels. An additional bonus may be weight loss with all its attendant benefits.
Patient education, work simulation and energy conservation are all part of therapy sessions. The patient is educated about the illness and given the tools to help him modify his lifestyle to maintain optimum health. One important advantage of the program for younger patients is work simulation. This provides the patient with guidelines for returning to work and leisure activities, while energy conservation teaches patients to pace themselves during ADLs and other activities.
With a team approach, our patients are assured of the best possible care. It is then left to the patient to follow the professional advice and reach an even better shape than prior to the surgery.
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