Physiotherapy for Heart Patients

Heart Transplant Candidate Assessment (before you are listed for transplant)

Every patient being assessed for a heart transplant at LHSC has a physiotherapy assessment.

Physical frailty consists of three or more of the following symptoms: weight loss, muscle weakness, fatigue, slow walking speed and reduced physical function. Frailty frequently impacts health-related outcomes in patients with chronic disease.

Unlike most advanced chronic disease complications, frailty is potentially modifiable with changes in nutrition and exercise therapy. Adhering to a regular exercise program can potentially increase physical function, as well as improve recovery time post-transplant surgery and decrease the risk of complications.

Our assessment involves a history of your current physical function, grip strength test, balance assessment and a 6-minute walk test. Please bring your gait aid (walker/cane) if you use one, as well as wear comfortable clothes and running/walking shoes.

Your assessment will take approximately 30 minutes and you will be provided a home exercise program to maximize your physical function, strength and endurance.

The following exercise sheets were developed by LHSC's Heart Transplant Physiotherapy Team and are specific to the care of LHSC heart patients. All heart patients seen by LHSC's Heart Transplant Physiotherapy Team will be provided with individualized exercises specific to that patient. The following sheets may not be applicable for care of patients being followed by other centres or patients who have not been assessed by physiotherapy.