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Cardiovascular Care

Cardiac Rehabilitation Program

After a cardiac event, it is natural to have many concerns, such as:

  • What can I do to stay heart healthy and avoid another episode?
  • How do I know when my physical activity level is too high or too low?
  • Will I still be able to do the activities I once enjoyed?

The Cardiac Rehabilitation Program at South Shore Hospital is designed to answer those questions. Our dedicated team will help you identify your specific risk factors for cardiac disease, and create a personalized plan to alter them on your way towards an active, healthier lifestyle.

Our program recently earned national certification from the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR). This distinction means you can expect the highest standards of rehabilitative care every step of the way.

Phases of Cardiac Rehabilitation

Our proven, four-phased approach includes recovery planning, education, lifestyle modifications and gradual integration of exercise: 

Phase I – Inpatient

Phase I begins in the hospital within two to five days of a cardiac event, and includes an activity-progression program and patient education.

Phases II-III – Outpatient

These phases include the convalescent and intermediate periods of recovery, and provide a comprehensive approach to lifestyle modifications:

Risk-Factor Education: A weekly class is presented on a variety of topics to help mitigate cardiac risk factors and make important lifestyle changes:

  • Anatomy of the heart
  • Angina vs. heart attack
  • Cardiac medications
  • Dining-out tips
  • Exercise counseling
  • Reading food labels
  • Stress management

Stress Management: Stress is a major contributing factor to heart ailments and other health problems. Classes  are offered to help you relieve daily stress and learn more about its cause and effect. Staff will help you identify stressors, learn positive coping skills and practice relaxation techniques.

Exercise: You will participate in structured exercise sessions, tailored to your specific needs by an exercise physiologist and updated at frequent intervals. The level of exercise is determined by your physical condition and exercise-tolerance test results.

Exercise equipment includes:

  • Arm ergometers
  • Elliptical trainer
  • Low-level weights
  • Rowing machines
  • Stationary bicycles
  • Treadmills
  • NuStep seated cross trainer

A registered nurse and an exercise physiologist will monitor your blood pressure, heart rate and heart rhythm before, during and after exercise. Our cardiac rehabilitation staff will also help you develop a home-exercise program to maintain your momentum.

Phase IV – Outpatient

The final phase of cardiac rehabilitation is an exercise transition program beginning after completion of Phases II and III. This program is an opportunity for you to make a strong commitment to lifestyle changes in a supervised, hospital-based setting.

Joining the Cardiac Rehabilitation Program

Phases II and III  are open to individuals who have had:

  • Angina
  • Balloon angioplasty/stent
  • Cardiac surgery
  • Coronary bypass graft (CABG)
  • Heart transplant
  • Heart attack
  • Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI)
  • Valve replacement (VR)

You must obtain an order from a physician to participate in the program. If you have not already had a stress test, please contact your physician and schedule one prior to admission. We’ll also ask you to request that your physician’s office forward medical records to the cardiac rehabilitation department.

Once we’ve received your order, we’ll schedule an admission appointment with a rehabilitation nurse to review your medical history, risk factors and goals. Together, you’ll agree on a start date for the program. Participation in all cardiac rehabilitation components is strongly recommended.

Highly Specialized Care to See You Through

Our Cardiac Rehabilitation program is overseen by a board-certified cardiologist on staff at South Shore Hospital. This physician guides the multidisciplinary team of registered nurses, pharmacists, dietitians and exercise physiologists.

Our staff works closely with your referring physician to help you achieve personal goals your individualized goals and restore or maintain maximum function and independence.

Program Fees/Insurance Coverage

The Cardiac Rehabilitation program is either fully or partially covered by many insurance providers. Contact your insurance provider to learn how many sessions are covered, and what percentage of each is covered. You’re also responsible for validating your insurance coverage for cardiac rehabilitation, and should document who provided you with this information in case further questions need to be clarified.

Learn More About Cardiac Rehabilitation at South Shore

For more information about our life-changing rehabilitation program, and to see if you may be a candidate, please call (781) 624-8824.


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