Rehab, Treatment & Surgery

What Should I Expect From Heart Treatment & Recovery?

Your treatment options depend on the type and extent of your heart disease. Your treatment may be noninvasive, minimally invasive or surgical. It may also involve a combination of all 3.

Banner Health heart care specialists provide a full range of treatment options, as well as cardiac rehabilitation and support during your recovery.

If your treatment includes heart surgery, you may spend the first part of your recovery in the cardiovascular intensive care unit (CICU). While you're there, a specially trained team of doctors, nurses and respiratory specialists will coordinate your care during your most critical days right after surgery.

Banner Health CICU includes remote monitoring, called iCare. This lets physicians work directly with you and your caregivers at your bedside 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

What Happens After My Heart Surgery?

When you're ready to leave the CICU, but not quite ready to go home or to a rehabilitation facility, you may be transferred to the Progressive Care (Telemetry) unit. Progressive Care helps make your transition easier as you move from the constant monitoring of intensive care to the next level of recovery.

During your stay in Progressive Care, you can expect to:

  • Wear a heart monitor that sends signals to the nurses' station about your heart rate and rhythm
  • Gradually increase your activity level each day
  • Learn about your medications and get recovery instructions

What Does Cardiac Rehab Involve?

All heart patients who undergo surgical procedures will have some type of recovery. Cardiac rehabilitation helps you return to your daily activities as you start to make changes to prevent future heart damage.

Our team of cardiac rehabilitation specialists will plan your physical therapy exercise and nutrition program with your specific needs in mind. We also try to make recovery fun. Our therapeutic recreation program includes seated group exercise, interactive video games and more.

There are 3 phases of cardiac rehabilitation:

  • Phase I — Your rehabilitation will begin in the hospital as soon as you leave the CICU. In the Progressive Care unit, you'll receive instructions on diet, medications and ways to reduce your risk factors.
  • Phase II — The outpatient part of your rehabilitation program includes monitored exercise therapy sessions. In addition, you and your family will receive information on diet, exercise and stress management.
  • Phase III — The last stage of rehabilitation is called the maintenance phase. This phase includes monitored exercise and support to continue a heart-healthy lifestyle. This phase could be all you need if you have risk factors for heart disease but haven't yet needed a surgical intervention.

Is Surgery Always Necessary?

No. Some heart problems may not require any type of surgery to correct. Banner Health offers nonsurgical treatments for heart disease, including:

  • Education on lifestyle changes to reduce risk factors. This may help prevent a future heart event, such as a heart attack.
  • Medications to improve the way your heart works and to reduce your symptoms.
  • Electrophysiology study to test your heart rhythm.

Can I Have a Minimally Invasive Procedure Instead of Surgery?

As often as possible, we try to use minimally invasive procedures to treat your heart disease. Many times, these procedures can improve your condition so you can avoid heart surgery.

Minimally invasive procedures for heart disease include:

  • Ablation
  • Angioplasty
  • Balloon valvuloplasty
  • Brachytherapy
  • Cardiac catheterization
  • Coronary atherectomy
  • Coronary rotablator
  • Endoluminal grafts
  • Stent placement

What Are My Surgical Options?

If it turns out you need surgery to treat your heart disease, we offer a full range of surgical options depending on your condition. These may include:

  • Aortic aneurysm repair
  • Artificial and tissue valve surgery
  • Atrial (ASD) or ventricular septal defect (VSD) repair
  • Closed-chest heart bypass surgery
  • Coronary artery bypass grafts (CABG)
  • Heart bypass surgery
  • ICD implants
  • Maze (to correct atrial fibrillation)
  • Pacemaker implants
  • Robotic assisted heart bypass surgery
  • Ventricular aneurysm repair
  • Transmyocardial revascularization (TMR)

Heart Locations Near Me

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