Banner Fort Collins Medical Center

WIN 2017

Spirit of Women magazine is a national publication presented to women by hospitals and their physicians. The magazine provides up-to-date, evidence-based healthcare information and promotes our hospitals as leaders in women's health excellence.

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14 U.S. Hospital Report Because it is a newer concept, prehab is not yet widely available to patients, says Dr. Lazar. But prehab programs stress many of the same recommendations for lifestyle modifications (minus the formal supervision) that cardiologists have long given to their patients, adds Dr. Henry. "Middle age is the last chance a patient may have to make an early intervention that can have a positive impact on future health," Dr. Henry says. "That's why everyone can benefit from the fundamental recommendations of prehab—because everyone benefits from not smoking, not drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, maintaining a normal body weight, exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet." Research on cardiac prehab is still in the early stages, so the benefits—and how feasible it is for seriously ill patients—aren't quantified yet. Still, pilot data suggest prehab reduces complications and gets patients out of the hospital sooner. "Hospital length of stay and complication rates [after cardiac surgery] depend as much on how sick someone is before surgery as they do on events during admission," says Dr. Lazar. "We know it takes around three times longer to 'get better' than it does to 'get sick.' The healthier and more active a patient is before surgery, the better the hospital course will be." Is cardiac rehab for you? Because women often have less-typical heart disease symptoms than men do, cardiac rehab can help women improve their understanding of the warning signs, says cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Michael J. Lazar, affiliated with the Heart & Vascular Institute at UPMC Susquehanna in Williamsport, Pa. "Women wait longer before seeking medical help and often attribute pain to other causes," he says. "Men are unaccustomed to internal pain, and a man with chest pain generally runs to the doctor. Women deal with internal pain much of their lives, and signals from the heart are confusing. "Rehab shows patients what the body can do under controlled conditions and helps them understand which sensations are cardiac related and which aren't," adds Dr. Lazar. Sorting out warning signs Both the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association give cardiac rehab a Class 1 recommendation (their strongest) for patients who have had a heart attack. Yet others can benefit from a cardiac rehab program as well, especially if one of these medical issues is involved: • Coronary artery disease (CAD) • Angina • Heart failure • Heart procedure or surgery, including: – Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery – Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), including coronary angioplasty (balloon angioplasty) and stenting – Valve replacement – Pacemaker or implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD)

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