Patients who have had a heart attack, heart failure, stable angina, heart transplant, bypass surgery, valve replacement, angioplasty or stent implantation will benefit from cardiac rehabilitation. A personalized plan incorporates education for the patient and their loved ones to explain specific health issues, outline a personal exercise program and identify other specialty areas to improve risk factors. This may include a heart-healthy diet and nutrition, effective weight control measures, stress management and smoking cessation.

The program is typically one-hour sessions, three times a week for up to 18 weeks. Patients who have hypertension, diabetes, congestive heart failure and peripheral artery disease can take advantage of a long-term maintenance program.

Four-Phase Comprehensive Exercise Program

UM Shore Regional Health offers a four-phase, comprehensive program of conditioning exercises that are performed under close medical supervision, and education about how to live with and manage heart disease and its risk factors.

Phase I

Phase I begins during the patient's hospitalization and emphasizes education about heart disease and steps to recovery. The exercise component of recovery begins with walking in the hospital; instructions are given for activities at home.

Phase II

Phase II is an outpatient program lasting two to three months, beginning approximately one month after bypass surgery or two weeks after a heart attack has occurred; heart-valve surgery and heart transplant patients also may enroll. Following angioplasty, rehabilitation may begin as soon as the catheterization site has healed. During the exercise sessions, the participant wears a heart monitor as a nurse works closely with him or her to develop a personalized exercise program.

The educational component features group or individual classes that address medications, blood pressure control, diet and stress management. Family members are encouraged to attend the educational sessions with the participant.

To participate in Phase II rehabilitation, please have your physician complete the cardiac phase II referral form.

Phase III

During Phase III, the participant graduates to exercising independently, but with qualified staff present. Participants learn to take their pulse and keep their own exercise records. Those who complete this phase have mastered the routine of the exercise sessions but continue to need occasional monitoring and support from the Cardiac Rehabilitation staff.

To participate in Phase III rehabilitation, please have your physician complete the cardiac phase III referral form.

Phase IV

Phase IV is an adult fitness program offered in a supportive atmosphere with other cardiac rehab members who have completed Phase III. We are able to offer the program to high-risk patients, as referred by their physicians.

Additional Information

The Center for Cardiopulmonary Fitness and Wellness in Easton also offers Enhanced External Counterpulsation (EECP), a non-invasive outpatient therapy that may relieve or eliminate symptoms related to chronic angina (chest pain). We are the only health care facility on the Delmarva Peninsula offering this treatment.