DEAR MAYO CLINIC: What does cardiac rehab involve? Do you recommend it for everyone who’s had a heart attack, or only in certain cases?
ANSWER: Cardiac rehabilitation is extremely beneficial for people with a variety of heart disorders. It involves a combination of medically supervised exercise, education and risk factor management.
The goals of cardiac rehabilitation are to reduce symptoms, improve physical and mental function, and prevent further heart problems. People who participate in cardiac rehabilitation are less likely to be readmitted to the hospital, and they enjoy a 25 to 45 percent improvement in survival rates compared with people who do not engage in cardiac rehabilitation.
Cardiac rehabilitation is definitely recommended for individuals with the following diagnoses: heart attack; percutaneous coronary intervention, including coronary angioplasty and stents; chronic stable angina; coronary bypass surgery; heart valve repair or valve replacement surgery; heart transplant; and systolic heart failure (impaired heart contraction).