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Arch Hellen Med, 39(2), March-April 2022, 197-207


Cardiac rehabilitation and innovative therapeutic approaches after mitral valve surgery

T. Palagkas, I.M. Lagou, G. Pepera
Laboratory of Clinical Exercise Physiology and Rehabilitation, Department of Physiotherapy, University of Thessaly, Lamia, Greece

Valvular heart disease (VHD) is a major cause of mortality and morbidity, and its prevalence increases with age. VHD is mainly degenerative in origin, and it is widespread in the developed countries, following rheumatic heart disease. In most cases of mitral valve (MV) disease, surgery is needed to either repair or replace the MV. Cardiac rehabilitation (CR), with exercise as the main component, contributes significantly to the quality of the life (QoL) in patients who have undergone MV surgery, and decreases morbidity and mortality. The role of the physiotherapist, as part of the scientific CR team, is to evaluate and prescribe individualized rehabilitation programs for patients following MV surgery. Cardiorespiratory physiotherapy is an evidence-based essential rehabilitation procedure for these patients. Innovative therapeutic approaches, such as e-Ηealth applications, telerehabilitation, home-based exercise, aquatic exercise training, and neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) training, all appear to be beneficial alternative CR techniques.

Key words: Cardiac rehabilitation, Innovative methods, Mitral valve surgery, Physiotherapy, Valvular heart disease.

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