Cardiac Rehabilitation

This innovative physician-supervised program is part of our holistic approach to heart care that promotes wellness and healthy lifestyles. Cardiac rehab is designed to improve the functional capacity, control symptoms and improve outlook for cardiac patients and those at-risk.  Each patient is evaluated and a program is developed according to meet their individual needs and capabilities.

Directed by staff cardiologists, Cardiac Rehabilitation is an innovative, highly comprehensive program for patients with known heart disease.  These can include those  who have had a heart attack, undergone a heart catheterization and will be medically managed, angioplasty patients, patients diagnosed with congestive heart failure, coronary artery bypass patients, aortic or mitral-valve surgery patients, as well as those who have had a heart transplant.

At Lourdes Cardiovascular Institute, cardiac rehab includes: 

  • Monitored exercise in our spacious, attractive facility
  • Education to support nutritional needs, stress reduction, smoking cessation and lifestyle changes
  • Maintenance programs.

Benefits of Cardiac Rehabilitation

This program will help to reduce blood pressure and heart rate at rest and with activity, assist in changing eating habits leading to safe and effective weight loss, increase the patient's capacity for activity and ability to deal with stress, improved heart muscle function, circulation, and emotional outlook about feeling healthy.  Other benefits include decreased hospital stay and the readiness to return to home safely and effectively.

To speak with a member of the Cardiac Rehab team, please call (270) 444-2106.

Cardiac Diagnostic Testing

The Lourdes Cardiovascular Institute provides comprehensive diagnostic services in a convenient close to home setting. The department is dedicated to the care of its patients. All cardiac testing utilizes state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment. All tests are conducted in a safe, clinical environment and most are done on as outpatient procedures.

The Department conducts OP cardiac testing Monday through Friday from 6:00 a.m. through 5:30 p.m. The Lourdes Cardiovascular Institute is conveniently located in the front section of the hospital just off the main entrance.  

Vascular Diagnostic Testing

Screening is an important first step to improved vascular health as the most severe disorders such as aortic aneurysms have few if any symptoms. At Lourdes Hospital, screening for urgent or emerging vascular disease follows current evidence-based medical recommendations.

Vascular laboratory testing is used to diagnose:

  • Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD): Blockages in the circulation to the arms or legs due to atherosclerosis or other disease which may threaten the limbs.
  • Cerebrovascular Disease: Blockages in the arteries to the brain that may increase risk of stroke.
  • Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT): Blood clots in the veins that could migrate to the heart and lungs.
  • Chronic Venous Disease: Varicose veins and other disorders that cause leg swelling or leg ulcers.
  • Renal Artery Disease: Circulatory disorders of the kidneys that cause hypertension (high blood pressure) or kidney failure.
  • Aortic Aneurysms: A ballooning of the major artery that can cause a fatal rupture.
  • Other vascular disease and conditions.


Testing is typically painless and non-invasive. Our Vascular Department offers a broad range of screening and non-invasive diagnostic tests.

Cardiac Treatment and Procedures

After open-heart surgery, patients recover in the Intensive Care Unit for the first 24 to 48 hours and are then transferred to the Cardiac Step-down Unit, where their condition is continued to be monitored by our specially trained nursing staff. 

Patients being observed following angioplasty procedures or after receiving internal pacemakers or defibrillator implants are monitored in the Progressive Care Unit by skilled nurses experienced in caring for post-op cardiac patients.

Cardiac patients may also be transferred to the Progressive Care Unit for follow up and monitored care.   

The Cardiac Step-down Unit and the Progressive Care Unit involves a highly motivated group of specially skilled nurses dedicated to providing the highest quality of care to the residents of McCracken County and the surrounding communities.

 Vascular Treatment and Surgery 

Cardiovascular Catheterization

The Lourdes Cardiovascular Institute performs cardiovascular catheterizations using state-of-the-art technology and advanced clinical procedures. Lourdes Hospital performs nearly 1,300 catheterizations annually, making it one of the busiest and most experienced labs in the region.

Lourdes Cardiovascular Institute opened 3 new digital catheterization suites in 2011 and 2012.  

Catheterization is used to diagnose blockages and narrowing in arteries, evaluate the pumping ability of the heart, the functioning of heart valves, and to measure pressures within the heart.

Angioplasty performed in the cath lab clears blockages in arteries to restore blood flow to the heart or extremities.  In many cases, coronary stents are then inserted to support the tubular structure of the blood vessel and keep it open.

Although most procedures done in the cardiovascular catheterization labs at Lourdes Hospital are not emergencies, for those that are, the cath lab is truly a life saver.

In cases of heart attack, emergency angioplasty provides the immediate intervention required to minimize damage to the heart.  Lourdes Hospital is among the most successful hospitals nationwide in performing emergency angioplasty within the optimal time frame in response to a heart attack. Lourdes Hospital is averaging well below the recommended 90-minute door-to-balloon time with a monthly average closer to 62 minutes, and in some cases closer to 30 minutes.

To appreciate the importance of balloon angioplasty and rapid intervention, it is important to understand what happens in a heart attack.  Basically, one of the arteries to the heart becomes blocked.  Although the heart is full of the blood it pumps, this blood does not furnish the oxygen and nutrients the heart needs to do the pumping.  The heart's blood is supplied by a system of arteries on its surface called "coronary arteries."  It is these arteries that cause problems if they become narrowed or blocked.  Without the oxygen furnished by these coronary arteries, the heart will essentially suffocate and die.  The longer it takes to restore blood flow to the heart tissue, the greater the likelihood of permanent damage to the heart muscle.  If the area affected by the loss of circulation is large enough, the ability of the heart to pump blood is affected.  Shock can develop and heart could stop beating altogether.  Without immediate medical intervention, death can occur.