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Here for you and ready to help

If you need care, don’t delay. We’re open, safe and ready to care for you. During this time, it’s especially important to seek care for symptoms that concern you as well as manage chronic conditions.

Care is available in many ways, including video visits. You can talk with your doctor and receive the same personalized care, expert answers and a treatment plan tailored to you. We’re also offering in-person visits, phone visits and our 24/7 online clinic, virtuwell.com.

Schedule an appointment online or call your clinic.

We’re also offering convenient COVID-19 drive-up testing at several clinics. Take our online screening to determine if you should be tested. For more information on COVID-19, visit our COVID-19 information page.

Cardiac rehabilitation in the Twin Cities and western Wisconsin

After a heart attack or heart surgery we work with you to create a recovery plan that helps you transition back to the life you love.

Cardiac rehabilitation is a program designed to help people recover from heart conditions or surgeries and is centered on exercise and education. We also offer rehabilitation for those recovering from peripheral artery disease (PAD).

Our cardiologist-led programs can help you maintain or improve your heart health with confidence. Our cardiologists work closely with registered nurses, exercise physiologists, occupational therapists and your primary care doctor to make sure you’re supported every step of the way as part of our personalized cardiac rehabilitation program.

Heart conditions we treat

Your cardiologist might recommend cardiac rehabilitation if you’re recovering from any of the following procedures or conditions:

  • Angioplasty (with or without stent)
  • Cardiac transplant
  • Cardiac valve repair or replacement
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Congestive heart disease 
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Coronary artery bypass surgery
  • Diabetes and heart disease 
  • Heart failure
  • Heart attack (myocardial infarction)
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Pericarditis
  • Peripheral artery disease
  • Rheumatic heart disease 
  • Stroke 
  • Stable angina
Phases of cardiac rehabilitation

Cardiac rehabilitation is broken into two different phases. Phase one is inpatient rehabilitation for patients who are still in the hospital. Phase two is outpatient rehabilitation for patients who have left the hospital and are transitioning back to their daily life. Here’s what to expect in each phase of cardiac rehabilitation.

Phase one: inpatient cardiac rehabilitation

The goals of the first phase are to restore your confidence in your mobility, improve your ability to walk, monitor your heart and vital signs during exercise, talk about any risks for continued heart disease and provide more information about how to care for yourself after you’re discharged.

This phase of cardiac rehabilitation focuses on improving your heart through exercise. You’ll exercise twice a day according to your ability. Each session is supervised by a registered nurse, exercise physiologist or occupational therapist. You’ll exercise in your room, the hallways or in the clinic’s exercise room. Exercise routines include walking and in some cases running, lifting light weights, stretching and other aerobic exercises.

During your rehabilitation session, you will wear a heart monitoring device. This will help our team of doctors and nurses track your heart rate before, during and after your session. Depending on your condition, your blood pressure and blood sugar may be monitored before and after your session, as well.

Phase two: outpatient cardiac rehabilitation

The second phase of cardiac rehabilitation begins once you’re discharged from the hospital. The goals of phase two include promoting healthy lifestyle changes, increasing your understanding of heart disease, improving your ability to exercise and providing encouragement. This phase of rehabilitation also includes nutrition consultation, exercise supervision and support to stop any habits that further put you at risk for heart disease, such as smoking.

Nutrition consultation

As you return home, you’ll be asked to fill out a three-day food diary. Then, you’ll receive an individual nutrition consultation and follow-up with a registered dietitian. We’ll recommend any diet changes that may improve your well-being. Spouses, friends and family members are welcome to join you during these consultations so everyone can be involved and help support you.

Exercise supervision

Your care team will work with you to create a personalized exercise plan to follow after you return home. Since this plan is unique to you, you’ll be able to exercise at your own pace. You’ll be able to schedule supervised exercise at the fitness center in our clinics where you can use treadmills, stationary bikes, recumbent steppers, elliptical machines, free weights and the other available equipment.

Peripheral artery disease rehabilitation

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) occurs when plaque buildup in your arteries causes reduced blood flow and circulation problems. In some cases, PAD rehabilitation is used to increase blood flow and reduce plaque in the arteries. PAD rehabilitation is similar to phase two of cardiac rehabilitation. You’ll work with vascular specialists, dieticians, exercise physiologists and other health professionals who specialize in guiding you through lifestyle changes that reduce your risk of developing additional circulatory conditions and improve your overall well-being.

Getting started with cardiac rehabilitation Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Yes. If cardiac rehabilitation will help treat your condition, your doctor will help you connect to one of our cardiac rehabilitation teams. We’ll be able to answer all your questions about the program and get you started on your path to recovery.

Cardiac rehabilitation usually lasts for about three months. However, cardiologists might recommend that some patients participate in cardiac rehabilitation for a longer amount of time. Your doctor will talk to you about what to expect during cardiac rehabilitation and how long it will take.

A whole team is ready to help you recover from your heart condition or procedure. In addition to your cardiologist, you’ll likely work with:

  • Exercise physiologists – An exercise physiologist specializes in using fitness to help improve their patient’s health. They will examine your fitness levels and create a fitness plan that will help improve your heart health. They’ll supervise your exercise to make sure it’s safe and effective. 
  • Occupational therapists – An occupational therapist works with you to improve your ability to do daily tasks like walking, dressing and eating. They’ll also teach you how to use any medical equipment you might need.
  • Dieticians – Our certified dieticians are experts in nutrition and help you create a healthy eating plan you can stick to. They’ll teach you how to make healthy choices, provide easy recipes and answer any questions you have about food.

Yes. Your primary care doctor works closely with your cardiologist and nurses to monitor your heart health as you resume normal activities.

Primary care doctors can perform screenings, check for an irregular heartbeat and offer advice on diet, exercise and other preventative heart measures. If one of our primary care doctors thinks you might need specialized treatment for your heart, we will recommend a cardiologist. After completing your cardiac rehabilitation program, you should regularly visit your primary care doctor to ensure you stay on track with leading a heart-healthy lifestyle.

We accept most health insurance plans, including Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, CIGNA, HealthPartners, Medica, Medicare, PreferredOne and many others.

Not sure what your insurance covers? Call the number on the back of your card for help looking at your options.

Don’t have your card in front of you? Here are the member services numbers to get you started: