FDA Approved, EECP stands for Enhanced External Counterpulsation. It treats angina pain, which can be a pain in the chest, arms, neck, jaw, back, or shortness of breath, fatigue, or nausea. Angina pain happens due to a shortage of blood supply to the heart. Over a period coronary arteries (blood vessels) get narrowed or blocked, which could be a reason for heart failure.
EECP treatment does not require any surgery or medication. The complete treatment is administered in outpatient sessions; it means the patient is not required to stay in the hospital. The EECP procedure requires 35 to 55 sessions, one hour each.
EECP Treatment Process
The patient is asked to lie down on a bed. The doctor will wrap the patient’s legs (calves, lower thigh, and buttocks) in long expandable blood pressure cuffs.
Then the doctor connects three ECG electrodes (wires) to the patient’s body. The instrument to monitor heartbeat is attached to the index finger. The doctor then begins with the treatment.
As the heartbeat begins, the cuffs deflate (reduce). As the heartbeat ends, the cuffs inflate (expand). The cuffs are inflated and deflated continuously with each heartbeat. Slowly the pressure builds up, and the machine works with the heart’s rhythm.
In this process, the cuffs pump oxygenated blood from the legs to the heart and other parts of the body. It naturally opens new arteries (blood vessels) around the blockages in the heart and improves blood and oxygen supply, leading to an overall improvement in the heart’s pumping.
It eventually decreases angina pain. It’s like a natural bypass.
RECOMMENDED PATIENT TYPE
EECP is a non-invasive treatment. It is an ideal option for the following conditions:
Patients who experience angina pain and would not like to explore medication or surgery.
Patients with more than 80 years of age.
Patients who do not choose, or cannot afford a bypass surgery or angioplasty.
Patients who have undergone bypass and would not like to experience it again.
Patients with other diseases like diabetes, kidney failure, etc. for whom surgery is not a good option.