Cardiac Rehabilitation

Cardiology/Heart Care

March 14, 2018

Stay Healthy and Well

38432021436_5cdfdd751d_o.jpgWHEN I was prescribed cardiac rehab, I had several choices,” says 67-year-old Ilion resident Gary Tucker. “Of course, Valley Health Services in Herkimer was the closest to me. And I’m familiar with the staff because my wife worked there for years, and I was comfortable with them.”

Tucker explains, “About a year and a half ago, I was having some irregular heartbeats and chest discomfort, and that’s what led me to a cardiologist in the first place.”

Bassett Healthcare Network cardiologist Randolph Hutter, MD, ordered tests, including a cardiac catheterization, which revealed that the back side of Tucker’s heart was totally blocked. In April 2017, Dhananjai Menzies, MD, Bassett interventional cardiologist, placed a stent.

Tucker began the Valley Health Services (VHS) Cardiac Rehab Program twice weekly. There, his heart rate and rhythm, tolerance to exercise, blood pressure and oxygen saturation were closely monitored.

“Typically, the cardiac rehab team treats patients who are recovering from bypass surgery or valve replacement or, as in Gary’s case, stent placement,” says Marcia Bruce, RN, VHS Cardiac Rehab Program Director. “Our program is designed to help people gain optimal health, all while education is provided on an individual basis and by educational sessions provided in the program.”

“My biggest compliment to Marcia and the program is the great collaboration with the cardiology team in Cooperstown,” says Tucker. Clinicians in Cooperstown, through the Bassett Heart Care Institute, oversee all of the patients in the program.

“I think they’ve done an excellent job,” he says. “They have a very nice program.”

Tucker is back to the things he needs and likes to do, including home maintenance and caring for his garden, and he’s looking forward to camping next year with his wife, Kathy.

“I’m relatively active, and the exercise does help. It’s definitely made a difference in my endurance and what I’m able to do.” —Gary Tucker

 

Winter 2018 - Article 4

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