Cardiac Rehabilitation

Appointment New Patient Appointment or 214-645-0080

The Outpatient Cardiac Rehabilitation Program at UT Southwestern Medical Center is designed to help individuals with cardiovascular disease actively participate in their own healing and recovery. 

Through education, exercise, and risk factor changes, cardiac rehabilitation starts patients on the road back to the highest possible level of physical, emotional, and vocational well-being. 

Cardiac Rehabilitation as Part of Your Recovery

After surviving a potentially life-changing event such as a heart attack, major cardiac surgery, or other cardiac episode, it is important to get back on the road to recovery. Cardiac rehabilitation is an integral component to this process. Under the guidance of experts in exercise physiology, patients get a comprehensive education in nutrition, lifestyle, and exercise, as well as regular supervised exercise sessions with cardiac ECG monitoring and blood pressure checks. Cardiac rehabilitation has been shown to reduce the need for repeat hospitalizations and is associated with better survival in patients with heart conditions. Importantly, cardiac rehabilitation can help boost confidence as patients return to their normal lives.

Scheduling and Location

Cardiac rehabilitation typically lasts four to 12 weeks. We offer multiple morning and afternoon classes. Please call 214-645-0080 for specific days and times. Sessions are held at the Professional Office Building 2, Suite HQ2.100. Our center features a variety of cardiovascular and strength training equipment.

Specialized Help for Improving Heart Health

Cardiac rehabilitation (cardiac rehab) helps patients improve their heart health, lower their risk of future cardiovascular disease, prevent future cardiac surgery, and better engage in daily work and recreational activities.

UT Southwestern’s cardiac rehabilitation specialists work with heart patients to design programs to meet their unique needs and goals. Our multidisciplinary team includes cardiologists, registered nurses, exercise physiologists, physical therapists, registered dietitians, and pharmacists.

By tracking our patients’ progress and encouraging them to continue their rehabilitation efforts, our specialists motivate them to overcome obstacles to better heart health. We closely monitor every patient and order follow-up tests to confirm they are on a steady path to improved cardiac fitness.

“My experience was excellent."

"The UTSW Cardiac Rehab program couldn’t have put together a better team to take a patient through rehab. They were attentive to my needs and answered all my questions. The team was also concerned with things outside the clinic. It was a bad situation that got me there, but to go into the atmosphere the program had made the process easier for me.”– Robert, a cardiac rehabilitation patient

Cardiac Rehabilitation Program

Parag Joshi, M.D. Medical Director of UT Southwestern’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Program explains what the program is, and how patients can benefit from it after a major cardiovascular event.

Conditions That Benefit

Participants include those with:

Benefits of Cardiac Rehab

Recent studies have shown that people who complete a cardiac rehabilitation program can increase their life expectancy by up to five years.

  • In patients with heart attacks, cardiac rehab is associated with an almost 50% reduction in the risk of a repeat heart attack, and a 25% reduction in the risk of death. Patients also show significant improvements in total cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure.
  • Patients who have had stents or bypass surgery to improve blood flow to the heart experience a significant reduction in the risk of death (20 to 50%).
  • In patients with heart failure, cardiac rehab is associated with a 30% lower risk of being hospitalized, as well as significant improvements in quality of life.

Components of Our Cardiac Rehabilitation Program

Our cardiac rehabilitation program includes three components:

Risk Factor Changes

Our staff regularly monitors medications and risk factors (such as high blood pressure and cholesterol), and works with patients' doctors to lower their risk of recurrent heart problems as much as possible.

Education

Our educational classes cover cardiovascular disease-related topics such as:

  • Heart disease and risk factor management
  • Heart healthy nutrition
  • Cardiac medications
  • Exercise guidelines
  • Stress management

Exercise

We’ll prescribe a custom exercise program based on each patient's individualized goals. The exercise program includes:

  • Progressive cardiovascular conditioning exercises
  • Progressive muscle strengthening exercises
  • ECG monitoring
  • Blood pressure monitoring
  • Peer support