Who are the patients you see? (eg types of conditions/surgeries)

Cardiothoracics is one of the 40 medical/surgical specialties within the CUH campus. Here, the physiotherapy service is involved in the management of patients post cardiac/thoracic surgeries and patients who have suffered traumatic thoracic injuries.

Cardiac Surgeries:

These surgeries are used to treat diseases of the heart such as coronary artery disease, aortic disease, or valvular heart disease.

Thoracic Surgery:  

These surgeries are used to treat lung conditions such as cancer, fibrosis or emphysema.


What is the role of the physiotherapist with this group of patients?

Physiotherapy has a significant role to play post operatively. The main goal is to get patients up and moving after their surgery to prevent post-operative complications.


Patients post-surgery will routinely be seen by a physiotherapist the day after their surgery. Day one physiotherapy involves: teaching patient’s chest clearance techniques, sitting patients out of bed and encouraging mobility as tolerated.

The following days will involve a structured plan, including progressive exercise and advice, to assist each patient to get back on their feet and back to their daily lives.


Patients post cardiac surgery will be linked in with the cardiac rehab team in the CUH before discharge home.


Any additional physiotherapy services available for this group of patients? (eg. Community services/outreach team/follow up services)


Inpatients who may require intense rehab can be referred to CUH physiotherapy gym. Patients post cardiac surgery will be referred to phase one cardiac rehab in CUH.


If a patient is returning home and would still benefit from further physiotherapy input, we will send a community physiotherapy referral.



How do these patients access your services? (inpatient/ outpatient if relevant)

All patients in Cardiac Intensive Care are seen daily. Outside of this, patients are seen on a referral basis only. The medical team will send this as required.