If you have a heart or lung condition, specialized rehabilitation can be a vital part of your recovery or management plan. Evidence shows that, combined with other recommended treatment, cardiac or pulmonary rehabilitation can help improve symptoms and may help you live longer.
The Grace Anne Dorney Pulmonary and Cardiac Rehabilitation Center offers care just for people with pulmonary (lung) or cardiac (heart) conditions. The center is conveniently located on the seventh floor of the main hospital at Tulane Medical Center’s downtown campus.
Our team will work with you to create a plan to strengthen your heart, improve your breathing and help you get back to your work, play, family and life. Some of the professionals with whom you may consult include:
- An exercise physiologist, who will evaluate your condition and prescribe a fitness program to meet your specific needs
- A nurse experienced in pulmonary and cardiac rehab
- A respiratory therapist
Tulane Medical Center also offers several support services, including:
- A dietitian, to help you plan healthy meals and snacks to support your health and treatment
- A social worker, to ensure you have the support and services you need
- A psychiatrist, to help you deal with any stress, fear or anger associated with your condition
- A speech therapist, to help you with any related speech or communication problems
- An occupational therapist, to help you improve skills needed for your daily life so you can maintain your independence
At Tulane, we also provide physicians who are working toward further specialization in pulmonary medicine, cardiology, surgery, transplant, neurology, rheumatology and internal medicine. These physicians are learning more about cardiac and pulmonary rehab and its benefits, so they can apply this knowledge to help their patients.
Rehab Designed For You
Depending on your condition, your recovery or management plan may include pulmonary rehabilitation or cardiac rehabilitation. Both programs offer education that can include smoking cessation, nutrition and other ways to improve your condition and general health.
You’ll initially work with our rehab team at least twice a week or more often, depending on your condition and needs, and your rehabilitation might last for weeks or months. Some people benefit from long-term rehab, to help maintain their progress and manage their condition.
Your first visit will include a complete evaluation to determine your needs and capabilities. Then we’ll work with you to set goals and create a plan designed to help you meet them.
And from the newly renovated suite to the state-of-the-art equipment to the stunning views of the New Orleans skyline, every facet of the center’s environment is designed with your healing in mind. And convenient, free valet parking at the hospital’s main entrance ensures your energy is spent in focused rehabilitation – not walking from a parking lot.
If you have a chronic breathing problem, pulmonary rehab can help you breathe easier. Evidence shows that pulmonary rehab can offer many physical and mental health benefits, including better control of symptoms and a better quality of life.
Pulmonary rehab can help if you have a lung condition such as:
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD). COPD includes conditions such as emphysema, bronchitis and bronchiectasis. COPD can cause an ongoing cough, often producing a lot of mucus. It can also cause shortness of breath, wheezing and a tight feeling in the chest.
- Asthma. This chronic lung disease inflames and narrows the airways, causing wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing and a tight feeling in the chest.
- Cystic fibrosis. This inherited disease affects the glands that make mucus and sweat. The mucus becomes thick and sticky. It builds up in the lungs and blocks airways, and makes it easy for bacteria to grow, leading to repeated severe infections. Cystic fibrosis can also affect your pancreas, liver, intestines, sinuses and sex organs.
- Pulmonary fibrosis. This disease causes tissue deep in your lungs to become thick and stiff, or scarred. As the lung tissue thickens, your lungs can't properly move oxygen into your bloodstream. As a result, your brain and other organs don't get the oxygen they need.
Your pulmonary rehab plan might include:
- A physical activity program designed to help you increase your overall fitness and improve breathing.
- Education on your lung disease and how to manage it. We may offer tips for eating right and staying active. If you smoke, we can direct you to counseling and treatment to help you stop.
- Techniques to help you conserve energy in your daily life. COPD and other lung conditions can decrease your energy, so we’ll help you find ways to do the things you need or want to do.
- Breathing strategies, to help you manage symptoms and breathe as easily as possible.
- Counseling or a support group, to help you cope with the stress and challenges related to your condition.
Cardiac rehab can help you recover and manage your health if you’ve had:
- A heart attack
- Heart surgery
- A percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) procedure such as stenting or angioplasty
- A heart transplant
- Stable angina (chest pain from reduced blood flow to the heart) or some other heart condition
- Congestive Heart Failure
Cardiac rehab is more than just exercise. It is a scientifically designed approach to help you increase your fitness, reduce symptoms and future risks, and improve your overall health, including mental health.
Your cardiac rehab plan will be designed just for you and will include:
- A physical activity program tailored to your needs. Training sometimes starts in a group setting, and your heart rate and blood pressure will be continually monitored. You’ll learn how to check your heart rate and your level of activity. Later, you’ll work up to more aerobic activity.
- Education to help you understand your condition and how to manage it. You may work with a dietitian to create a healthy eating plan. If you smoke, you may get counseling on how to stop. Exercise may also help you cope with depression and stress during your recovery.
- Support and training to help you return to work or your normal activities and to help you learn to manage your heart condition.
Talk to Your Doctor
If you think you might benefit from cardiac or pulmonary rehab, talk to your doctor. In most cases, you will need a referral from a doctor to make an appointment at the Grace Anne Dorney Pulmonary and Cardiac Rehabilitation Center. When you have a referral, call (504) 988-1791 to make your first appointment.