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Treatment Information

Who can benefit from pulmonary rehab?
You can benefit from pulmonary rehab if you:
Become short of breath while performing simple tasks
Spend your leisure time watching activities in which you used to participate
Have been told by your doctor that you have a lung disease such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis or other lung problems that impair your ability to breathe.

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Why does pulmonary rehab help?
Special exercises, respiratory treatments, proper nutrition and breathing retraining techniques can greatly improve your breathing ability. Summa's pulmonary professionals have found that combining aerobic activity with strength-building activity helps patients get quicker results. That's because they start building muscle mass where they did not have any before, so they are stronger in everything they do. The goal of the program is to bring patients back to optimal condition and help them maintain that, while also controlling shortness of breath. The team of pulmonary rehab specialists also helps make patients more aware of when to see a doctor. As a result, less hospitalization and less hospital visits occur, because patients stay healthier. 

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Is it safe for me to exercise?
Yes! Studies have proven that pulmonary rehab programs are safe. Pretests such as a pulmonary function test and an exercise function test allow the staff to design a safe program for you. Pulmonary rehab specialists monitor your pulse, blood pressure, oxygen saturation and breath sounds during each session.

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I get tired very easily. What if I can't keep up with the other participants?
Although you exercise as part of a small group, each person has his own exercise program based on his medical diagnosis, pulmonary function test and exercise evaluation. Each person is given an exercise routine that she can tolerate. Your exercise capacity is increased gradually at your own pace and under the guidance of highly trained rehab specialists.

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Are family members allowed to attend the classes?
Yes. Family members are welcome to observe the exercise sessions and may take an active part in the education sessions.

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What will I learn in the education classes?
Participants are taught techniques to help them breathe more easily and control episodes of shortness of breath. Education classes also teach you about your medication, home exercise, energy conservation, relaxation and nutrition. (A certified smoking cessation program is also available for those who need it.)

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What happens after I complete the program?
The pulmonary rehab program offers a phase II program on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays to help patients develop the endurance and strength that can make tasks like shopping or folding laundry more manageable. A phase III program takes place Tuesdays and Thursdays to help patients maintain their ability to engage in and enjoy everyday life.

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Will my insurance cover the cost of pulmonary rehabilitation?
A majority of insurance programs, including Medicare and Medicaid, cover part or all of the cost of pulmonary rehab. Check with your insurance company for specific coverage or any pre-certification requirements. Our office will assist you with insurance issues.

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