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Cardiac Rehabilitation

Specialized program to help cardiac patients return to healthy lifestyle

Man on stationary bike working with female nurse

The time after a heart attack or heart surgery may be a time for triumph, but it’s not a time to take it easy – now is the time to work hard for a better life. That’s where Cardiac Rehabilitation comes in, with a complete recovery program tailored to each person’s unique condition and symptoms. The HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital Breese team blends therapy, fitness, nutrition and education to create the right plan for every heart.

Cardiac rehabilitation (rehab) is a medically supervised health program designed to help patients recover from heart attacks, open heart surgery, angioplasty, stenting and other cardiac events. Cardiac surgeons and physicians work with other health professionals including physical therapists, occupational therapists, dietitians and nutritionists, educators and social workers to ensure maximum recovery as well as prevent future health issues. Treatment programs are individualized by patient and may include exercise, training, heart monitoring, practice and adaptation of daily skills, healthy eating tips, counseling and more.

Cardiac rehabilitation services

For hospital inpatients

  • Counseling
  • Graded exercise and activity program
  • Home walking and activity guidelines
  • Progress reports to your physician

Patient education plays a vital role in the rehabilitation process. The patient’s family is urged to participate, so that together he/she can learn how to cope with the disease and modify his/her lifestyle with greater understanding.

For outpatients

  • Supervised exercise sessions in Cardiac Rehabilitation gym
  • Blood pressure and cardiac monitoring
  • Progress reports to your physician

How long does cardiac rehabilitation last?

The length of a cardiac rehabilitation program depends on the extent and severity of a person’s condition, as well as their health history. The physicians will work with the cardiac rehab team to monitor each patient’s progress and determine the length of therapy required for maximum recovery.


Getting a referral

Yes a physician’s referral is required to schedule cardiac rehabilitation services.

For more information about St. Joseph's Hospital’s cardiac rehabilitation, call 618-526-5323.

Most insurance coverage does include cardiac rehabilitation. Check with your insurer for specific coverage details.


Woman on exercise equipment with nurse assisting

Types of exercise in a cardiac rehab session

Exercise sessions are held in the cardiac rehabilitation gym which is located in the Prairie Heart Institute at St. Anthony's. The exercise equipment available includes:

  • Treadmills
  • Weight Bike
  • Air-Dyne Bike
  • Arm Ergometer
  • Cross-training equipment
  • Weight Pulleys
  • Stairmaster
  • Telemetry Monitor

All exercise sessions are supervised by the cardiac rehabilitation nurse, who is also experienced in cardiac monitoring. A telemetry monitor is used for all patients to monitor heart rate and rhythm during exercise. Blood pressures are checked before and after exercise and as necessary.

Who could benefit from cardiac rehabilitation

You may need cardiac rehabilitation if you have experienced the following: 

  • coronary artery disease
  • heart attack
  • coronary bypass surgery
  • angioplasty
  • stent placement
  • heart valve repair/replacement
  • heart or heart-lung transplant

Cardiac rehabilitation also enhances emotional well-being. We encourage active participation for the patient and his/her family members. We support a positive approach to the rehabilitation phase, while discussing various changes in lifestyle that are to take place. Any questions or concerns regarding activity are discussed with the patient and family.

Cardiac Rehabilitation helps to increase motivation, improve self-esteem and reduce anxiety and depression in cardiac patients, while serving as a support system for the patient and his/her family.