Enhanced External Counter Pulsation (EECP)
What is chest pain (Angina)?
Chest pain is caused by gradual blockage of the coronary Arteries. The narrowed or blocked arteries restrict the blood flow to the heart muscle. Your heart gets the oxygen and nutrition form the blood that flows through the arteries.
What is Enhanced External Counter Pulsation (EECP)?
EECP is the first non surgical, non pharmaceutical mechanical treatment for patients with chest pain and heart failure. It helps to increase the blood flow to the heart muscles deprived of adequate blood supply.
What does EECP treatment include?
In an EECP session the patient lies on a padded table. Three large inflatable cuffs- similar to blood pressure cuffs- are strapped around the calves, lower thighs and upper thighs. The patient heart is monitored by an ECG display in the machine, which through the computer regulates the inflation and deflation of the cuffs. During the part of the cardiac cycle cuffs are rapidly inflated in sequential order beginning with the cuffs at the calves and working upward. Just before the systole (heart contraction), the cuffs are simultaneously deflated.
How long does the treatment take?
EECP involves 35 days of treatment. Each treatment session is for 1 hour and the patients are asked to come six days a week for six weeks.
What is collateral circulation?
Formation of network of tiny blood vessels, which make it possible for blood to detour around blocked vessel or narrowed arteries, is called collateral circulation. However the development of collateral circulation is a gradual process and not everyone has the same ability to develop these networks at the rate that will relieve angina. EECP treatment triggers and accelerates this collateral circulation and makes it permanent.
What are the advantages of the EECP Therapy?
EECP Therapy is non-invasive, does not require a hospital stay, has no recovery period and allows you to return to your routine each day after receiving the treatment.
How do I personally know the treatment has helped me?
- Patient can walk more distance without chest pain
- Patient would have fewer or no angina
- Episodes of angina would be less painful
- Patient's need for anti-anginal medications can be reduced
- Patients can return to work and can participate in their active life style once again
- Patient would be more energetic
Is EECP treatment comfortable?
There is a feeling of pressure from the cuffs around your legs and buttocks. Once you become accustomed to this pressure, the sessions usually pass comfortably
What are the risks of EECP Therapy?
Occasionally, patients develop mild skin irritation in areas under the treatment cuffs or experience muscle or joint discomfort. Some patients feel tired after the first few sessions but this usually ends after the first week. Your EECP Therapist is trained to make your treatments safe and to minimize risk.
How long do the benefits of EECP therapy last after a course of treatment?
The International EECP Patient Registry(IEPR) collects data on the safety, effectiveness and long-term benefits of EECP therapy. The current Research data have shown that the benefits of EECP Therapy can last up to three to five years after completing the first course (35 Hours) of treatment
What should I do after the EECP Treatment ?
To prevent the progression of your disease after completion of the treatment you should make life style changes like:
- Quite smoking
- Following heart friendly diet
- Controlling obesity
- Doing regular exercise
Have regular follow-up with your cardiologist to lower your cholesterol, to control your blood pressure and diabetes. EECP treatment provides you new vessels. It is you to prevent your vessels from developing obstructions again.
Are you a candidate for EECP Therapy?
You may be a candidate if:
- You have Angina (chest pain) and/or heart failure
- Your heart medications no longer relieve your angina and heart failure symptoms
- You have had open-heart ( bypass)surgery, a balloon angioplasty or stent, or other invasive procedures, and your symptoms have returned
- You have been told you cannot have another bypass surgery, balloon angioplasty or stent, or other invasive procedures
- You have chosen not to have any further surgery, angioplasties or invasive procedures.
- You do not have any other medical conditions that may prevent you from having EECP Therapy