Cardiac Surgery: How Prehabilitation Before Cardiac Surgery Helps Heart Patients

The process of prehabilitation before cardiac surgery involves the patient undergoing a combination of exercise training, social support and education regarding his/her condition.

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Cardiac Surgery: How Prehabilitation Before Cardiac Surgery Helps Heart Patients

Prehabilitation before cardiac surgery improves post-operative outcomes in heart patients

Highlights

  1. Prehabilitation brings improvement in physical well-being of patient
  2. It helps in improving post-operative outcome of cardiac surgery
  3. It improves quality of life of heart patient after cardiac surgery

Prehabilitation is the process of enhancing a person's individual functional capacity in order to enable him or her to withstand an upcoming stressor. With the rise in the number of ageing population, the demand for surgical services has increased. A recent study found out that older and physically weak patients can benefit from prehabilitation before a cardiac surgery. An increased number of older adults with heart disease is leading to an increase in demand of heart procedures. This phenomenon is being explained by experts as a veritable silver tsunami, reports ANI. Many of these elderly patients tend to have a low physiological nerve. This means that when they undergo a cardiac surgery, they experience a very disproportionate decline in their health condition. This results in a very long recovery time. In some more vulnerable cases, the patients need long-term care facility. These patients have poor post-operative outcomes. They end up having a worse quality of life despite having a successful heart treatment or procedure.

 

exercise

Prehabilitation before cardiac surgery helps heart patients recover holistically
Photo Credit: iStock

Lately, there is urgent need that heart surgeons make sure that not only are heart patients relieved of cardiac disease symptoms, but also are able to experience a better quality of life after the operation. The idea is to make them thrive, and not just survive after a heart procedure.

Also read: These Are The Best Exercises For Your Heart

Prehabilitation before cardiac surgery has been found to be effective in this case. The process of prehabilitation before cardiac surgery involves the patient undergoing a combination of exercise training, social support and education regarding his/her condition. This process helps in bringing a positive improvement in the physical and psychological readiness for cardiac surgery. However, these kinds of programs aren't too popular yet.

Prehabilitation before cardiac surgery has an overarching goal of reducing post-operative complications in a heart patient. It helps in reducing the time period of hospital stay after cardiac surgery and also helps in bringing an improvement in the transition of the patient from hospital to home.

heart

Prehabilitation is helpful for elder, more vulnerable heart patients
Photo Credit: iStock

As a process prehabilitation has been a popular part of bowel or bone surgeries. It has not yet been widely considered for cardiac surgeries.

Also read: Healthy Heart: 7 Tips You Must Follow Every Day For A Healthy Heart

In the present times, there are various Enhanced Recovery Programs (ERPs), which are new treatment protocols for heart patients undergoing cardiac surgery. These protocols enable doctors to take an informed decision about the best treatment plan for vulnerable older adult patients before their cardiac surgeries.

ERPs are meant to be able to bring an improvement to the overall physical and mental status of heart patient. The idea is to reduce the impact of profound stress response following a cardiac procedure.

Previous trials have been analysed to see how prehabilitation works for heart patients undergoing cardiac surgeries. The three-way approach of prehabilitation includes physical exercise, optimisation of nutrition and reduction of anxiety.

eating healthy

Prehabilitation before cardiac surgery involves providing the patient with optimum nutrition
Photo Credit: iStock

Also read: What Is The Difference Between A Panic Attack And Heart Attack?

However, there are a few barriers which still lay in the way of prehabilitation of heart patients before cardiac surgery. This primarily includes the need for more in-depth, multi-centre and prospective studies regarding validation of prehabilitation before cardiac surgeries.

The fundamental principle behind prehabilitation ERP is to improve the functional reserve of a patient before a cardiac surgery, so as to improve outcomes after the surgery. It helps in improving their mental and functional independence after the cardiac surgery.

However, it all depends on how much the patient is willing to collaborate and engage with the caregivers and the doctors to ensure the success of prehabilitation before cardiac surgery. 

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