After a heart attack, heart surgery, or other cardiac event, some patients are well enough to return home after hospitalization, but still require outpatient cardiac rehabilitation to help them regain their strength, improve their cardiovascular health, and prevent future cardiac events.
The outpatient cardiac rehabilitation program at NYU Langone’s Joan and Joel Smilow Cardiac Prevention and Rehabilitation Center is a 12-week program that aims to help you feel and function better in your everyday life.
The goals of the outpatient program are to improve your exercise tolerance and overall endurance, reduce symptoms of heart disease such as shortness of breath and fatigue, improve your cholesterol and blood sugar levels, reduce your weight, and help you stop smoking, overcome stress, and improve your psychosocial wellbeing.
Cardiac rehabilitation doctors evaluate every patient prior to starting the cardiac rehabilitation program. This includes a thorough medical history and physical examination, as well as a cardiac stress test on a treadmill. Your doctor works with you to identify your individual treatment goals and to create a rehabilitation program suited to your lifestyle.
This 12-week program includes:
After the cardiac rehabilitation program is completed, you are given an exit evaluation including a repeat exercise stress test, and you meet with the physician and exercise physiologist. You are also given an individualized wellness and lifestyle plan that includes exercise and heart-healthy nutrition to implement and maintain.
Some patients may continue in our maintenance program for a few months to maintain focus on self-monitored exercise and ongoing lifestyle modification. You are also encouraged to participate in a cardiovascular disease support group, such as the Mended Heart Association, which has been active at NYU Langone since 1997.