How to get Healthy After Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery

How to get Healthy After Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery

What is coronary artery bypass surgery?

Coronary artery bypass surgery improves blood flow to the heart. Blood flow to the heart muscle can be hindered when plaque builds up in the coronary artery. The built-up plaque narrows the artery and slows the flow of blood to the heart muscle. A common symptom of trouble in the coronary artery is chest pain or discomfort. Coronary artery bypass surgery involves the attachment of a graft to the coronary artery to create an alternative passageway for blood to reach the heart muscle.

What is the average life expectancy after bypass surgery?

Coronary artery bypass surgery can improve the health of the heart and lower the risk of having a heart attack. It can also improve life expectancy. However, one hopes the message from your medical doctors has been clear – your heart health is poor. If your lifestyle continues to cause deterioration of the health of your cardiovascular system, medicines and surgeries may only patch the problem. “If you have been prescribed pills, take them – but know you are still at risk of a major health event later in life,” cautions Pritkin’s Director of Medicine, Dr. Danine Fruge. Is there a way to get healthy after coronary artery bypass surgery? Yes! Research shows a healthy lifestyle can improve heart health, including lowering cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure. “A healthy lifestyle change is not a Band-Aid solution,” says Fruge.

A healthy lifestyle is important after having coronary artery bypass surgery. A healthy lifestyle change can drastically improve your cardiac rehabilitation. There are three factors to a successful, healthy lifestyle change: positive mindset, healthy food and exercise.

How can I get healthy after coronary artery bypass surgery?

Trying to find motivation is hard. Motivation is a major factor reported by patients as to why they are unable to adhere to a cardiac rehabilitation program after coronary artery bypass surgery. Making healthy changes can be hard on your own. You may need some help.

If you have had coronary artery bypass surgery you should know Medicare covers the comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation programs for qualified individuals available at the Pritikin Longevity Center and Spa or through the outpatient program called Pritikin ICR (Pritikin Intensive Cardiac Rehabilitation).

Pritikin ICR is based on 40 years of expertise and over 100 peer-reviewed studies. These studies include patients with coronary artery disease. A study followed 64 patients with coronary artery disease attending a 26-day program at the Pritikin Longevity Center. They participated in exercise and educational programs, and ate a high-complex-carbohydrate, low fat and low cholesterol diet. The health of the patients improved significantly. With the advice of their physicians many patients were able to discontinue the use of cardiac and hypertensive medications. The program helped them make a sustainable lifestyle change – after the program 85% still regularly exercised.

How is Pritikin ICR different than other cardiac rehabilitation programs?

Traditionally, patients in cardiac rehabilitation programs are offered exercise, but limited education on healthy lifestyle changes they can make. Pritikin ICR, however, offers double the number of sessions compared to traditional cardiac rehab, as it supplements the traditional 36 session of exercise with 36 education sessions covering its three pillars: nutrition, exercise, and a healthy mindset. It’s a more holistic cardiac rehabilitation experience. Pritikin ICR gets patients to engage in the work – being engaged is how you can create a lifestyle change. The program educates and motivates you by giving you a complete understanding of what to do and how to take care of yourself in the future. You can change your life.

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And, it’s sustainable! The Pritikin ICR program includes food advice that is not complicated – you can easily find the recommended foods at the grocery store and they taste good. If you are looking for more confidence in the kitchen, there are special culinary-based programs offered at the Pritikin Longevity Center and Spa in Miami, Florida, and Pritikin ICR’s outpatient programs offer hands-on cooking school lessons and nutrition workshops. Sleep tests are available in the comfort of your 5-star hotel room at the Pritikin Center in Miami.

It is not just a lifestyle change – it is hope! It is hope for you and hope for your family. You can live a normal life after heart disease.

To date, nearly 50 facilities nationwide have been licensed to teach the Medicare-covered outpatient Pritikin ICR, including the luxurious Pritikin Longevity Center and Spa in Miami, Florida.

Which participants qualify for Medicare reimbursement of ICR?

Qualifying conditions for ICR are the same as those for traditional cardiac rehab. If you have experienced one or more of the following events, and if you have not received Medicare-reimbursed cardiac rehab after your most recent event, you qualify for Medicare reimbursement of ICR.

  • Acute myocardial infarction (within the preceding 12 months only)
  • Coronary artery bypass surgery (no time limit)
  • Percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty or stenting procedure (no time limit)
  • Current stable angina pectoris (no time limit)
  • Heart or heart-lung transplant (no time limit)
  • Heart valve repair or replacement (no time limit)
  • Chronic Heart Failure, known as CHF has the same limitations as traditional cardiac rehab. This means that not all CHF patients will qualify for reimbursement

Learn to feel better and live better with the right foods and exercise. It’s all part of Pritikin’s Medicare-covered Intensive Cardiac Rehabilitation Program.

Learn More About Pritikin ICR

  • J Thorac Dis 2018 Mar; 10(3):1960-1967.
  • Journal of Cardiac Rehabilitation 1983 Mar;3(3):183-194.
  • Health Technol Assess 2007 Sep;11(35):1-118.
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