Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation 

If you have undergone open heart surgery or other procedures to treat coronary artery disease, you may benefit from cardiopulmonary rehabilitation. The SSM Health Heart & Vascular Care cardiopulmonary rehabilitation staff offers education and safe, monitored exercise programs to heal and strengthen your heart.   

The greatest risk factor — inactivity
The rejuvenation process started by your cardiac caregivers needs to be carried on after you leave the hospital to ensure a full and healthy life.  Inactivity is now your heart’s greatest enemy.

SSM Health Heart & Vascular Care's Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation program starts you out on the right path with a safe and personalized fitness program that is supervised by registered nurses, respiratory therapists or exercise specialists. Our gradual but progressive program is divided into three phases: 

Phase 1
Phase 1 begins with the education you and your family receive in the hospital and the walking exercises your physician may prescribe during your stay.

Phase 2
Once you are discharged from the hospital, your physician may refer you to cardiac rehab to manage your heart’s future health. Based on the personalized exercise prescription written by our medical directors, this program combines supervised exercise and educational instruction in one-hour sessions, multiple times a week for up to 36 visits, depending on your health plan. You’ll exercise in a safe environment with others who have had similar health experiences.

Phase 3
Phase 3 is an optional maintenance program available at select SSM locations that continues the heart healthy progress you’ve already achieved.

This exercise and fitness program is ideal if you have had a serious cardiac condition, such as:

  • heart attack
  • heart bypass surgery
  • stable angina (chest pain)
  • stent placement, angioplasty or other
  • non-invasive heart procedures
  • valve replacement

What if I have chronic lung disease?
SSM Health offers a distinct rehabilitation plan just for patients with chronic lung disease, such as COPD.  Based on the same premise of exercise, education and support, this program helps participants to experience improvement in tolerance and stamina when walking or physically exerting themselves.

Our staff works with you
The Cardiopulmonary Rehab staff are your personal trainers. They empower you with the knowledge, purpose and desire to rebuild your heart muscle, strength, endurance and overall fitness within safe levels. They also share valuable advice that can reduce your risk factors. 

Addressing other risk factors
Our cardiopulmonary rehab professionals are educators, as well. They help you modify risk factors and achieve goals such as:         

  • weight loss
  • smoking cessation
  • stress management
  • healthy cholesterol levels
  • lower blood pressure
  • healthy eating

Our facilities
Your exercise program takes place in a comfortable environment with the latest in fitness equipment, including:

  • treadmills
  • arm bikes
  • recumbent and regular exercise bikes
  • cross trainers
  • weights and rowers

Benefits of cardiopulmonary rehab
The benefits of cardiopulmonary rehabilitation are clear. Patients typically:

  • Reduce their risk of future heart attack by 25 percent
  • Experience decreased chest pain, shortness of breath with activity and need for medications
  • Lose weight, increase energy and lower cholesterol
  • Improve stability, strength and mobility
  • Decrease the likelihood of heart failure

Be heart smart
Currently, only 10 percent to 20 percent of eligible cardiac rehab participants take advantage of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation — an exceptional, life-enhancing opportunity that is covered by Medicare and most insurance plans.  

To learn more, contact the SSM Health Heart & Vascular Care Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation program nearest you:

            SSM Health DePaul Hospital - St. Louis

            SSM Health St. Clare Hospital - Fenton

            SSM Health St. Joseph Hospital - St. Charles

            SSM Health St. Joseph Hospital - Lake Saint Louis

            SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital - St. Louis