Abu Dhabi: Patients with heart-related problems or who have undergone surgery will now be offered cardiac rehabilitation services, which medical experts say is a vital part of the healing process after a heart surgery.

A fully-facilitated cardiac rehabilitation centre has been opened for patients, starting today, at the Shaikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC), managed by Cleveland Clinic.

The centre will offer a variety of physical activities, regular exercise, dietary control and medication maintenance to prevent future heart attacks and assure a rapid return to normal life.

Cardiac physiotherapists have been assigned to monitor patients, as well as teach them how to get up and walk around as early as possible after a heart attack or a cardiac surgery. Patients are also advised on precautionary measures to consider while exercising at home.

"The cardiac rehabilitation team educates the patient ... and helps them identify risk factors like diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking, overweight and an inactive lifestyle. Patients are also taught how to live a normal life after a heart attack or heart surgery," said Dr Gregory Eising, Head of Adult Cardiac Surgery.

Heavy objects

According to Dr Awatif Al Sousi, Head of Cardiac Rehabilitation Services, in-patients are advised about how to handle heavy objects, when to drive and how to modify sexual activities. Information sessions are held twice a day.

Cardiac rehabilitation services are supported by clinical dietitians who counsel patients regarding healthy eating and food selection.