Department of Cardiac Rehabilitation @ Policlinico San Donato

Cardiac Rehabilitation is a comprehensive customized inpatient or outpatient program including the medical evaluation of clinical condition after an acute cardiac event, optimization of the treatment, management of the risk of disease progression/instability, functional evaluation, risk stratification, exercise training, emotional support and education about specific cardiac conditions and lifestyle changes.

The goals of Cardiac Rehabilitation include the definition of an individualized plan aimed to regain strength, easing the healing process, preventing the risk of worsening, reducing the risk of future heart problems, and improving the health and quality of life.

The impact of a Cardiac Rehabilitation program on reduction of the risk of death from heart disease, of re-hospitalization and on improvement of quality-of-life is well established. For this reason, the European Society of Cardiology, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology recommend Cardiac Rehab in most of post-acute and chronic cardiac conditions.

The benefits of Cardiac Rehabilitation are well established also in older and frail cardiac patient.

The in-hospital intensive Cardiac Rehabilitation programs are carried out by a multidisciplinary team including cardiologists, skilled nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, dieticians and educators. Fast and efficient interactions with cardiac surgeons, vascular surgeons, invasive cardiologists, arrhythmologist, infectiologists, neurologists, nephrologists, pneumologists, and endocrinologists provide the best management of all comorbidities and potential complications.

The supervised exercise training programs are customized taking into accounts of clinical and functional conditions of the patient, and of his needs and preferences; exercise sessions are carried out in a dedicated gym with computerized monitoring and ergometric devices by skilled cardiac physiotherapists trained for the management of all potential emergency during training sessions.

Patients receive educational interventions dealing and promoting healthy lifestyle changes, such as eating a heart-healthy diet, exercise regularly, maintaining a healthy weight and quitting smoking.

Individual or small group counselling sessions are also provided on managing various conditions such as hypertension, diabetes and hypercholesterolemia.

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Our excellence in numbers




days of in-hospital care in Cardiac Rehab Unit


mean length of stay (days)


extra-regional or foreign patients

Conditions we take care of at this Department

The provided CR programs are open to patients with all the main cardiovascular diseases presentations, particularly after the acute and decompensated phases.Main Conditions Treated:

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Meet our team

Head physician

Marianna Volpe

Marianna Volpe
Policlinico San Donato

The Policlinico San Donato Research Hospital is the largest and most renowned Italian center specialized in the field of cardiovascular treatments. The hospital is accredited by the Italian National Health Service (SSN) and is home to the Degree Course in Medicine and Surgery, in collaboration with the Università degli Studi di Milano.

Founded in 1969 and extending over 50,000 square meters in the south-eastern part of Milan, the multi-specialty healthcare institution is a leader in Italy and among best centers in Europe as for the amount as well as for the complexity of performed cardiac surgery and interventional cardiology procedures in children (>1,000 procedures per year) and adult patients (>1,000 surgical interventions and 6,000 interventional cardiology procedures). The San Donato’s Arrhythmology and Electrophysiology Unit delivers one of the highest numbers of cardiac ablations in the world (>1,400 per year). San Donato has a research center aimed at studying of the heart and blood vessels in adults and children and searching of new prevention and treatment methods that has been recognized by the Italian Ministry of Health as a Scientific Institute for Research, Hospitalization and Health Care (IRCCS).

San Donato is a pioneer of international cooperation and a founder of charity missions for the treatment of children with congenital heart diseases that are run in collaboration with the association “Bambini Cardiopatici nel Mondo”. Thanks to this project more than 3,000 children all over the world have received their treatment.

Since 2019, Policlinico San Donato has become home to the National Institute for Obesity Cure (INCO), a national reference center with a multidisciplinary approach for the diagnosis and treatment of obesity. Thanks to the INCO, dietary, psycho-behavioral and surgical treatments are carried out together with the most innovative video-assisted laparoscopic and mini-invasive techniques.