Enhanced External Counter Pulsation
What is EECP® Therapy?
EECP® Therapy is an outpatient treatment for angina. Treatments are usually given for an hour each day, five days a week, for a total of 35 hours. During the treatment, you lie on a comfortable treatment table with large blood pressure-like cuffs wrapped around your legs and buttocks. These cuffs inflate and deflate at specific times between your heart beats. A continuous electrocardiogram (ECG) used to set the timing so the cuffs inflate while the heart is at rest, when it normally gets its supply of blood and oxygen. The cuffs deflate at the end of the rest period, just before the next heartbeat. The special sensors applied to your body monitor the pressure waves created by the cuff inflations and deflations.
What is Angina?
Angina is a signal from your heart muscle that is not receiving enough blood and oxygen because the arteries that supply the heart muscle are blocked or narrowed. Angina, often called “chest pain”, can also be pain down the left arm, between the shoulder blades, or in the jaw. Angina equivalent symptoms may also include shortness of breath.
How Does EECP® therapy relieve the symptoms of angina?
EECP® therapy works by increasing the blood oxygen supply to the muscle and decreasing the amount of work the heart has to do to pump blood to the rest of the body. While the heart is at rest, the treatment cuffs inflate from the calves to the thighs to the buttocks, increasing the blood supply to the arteries feeding the heart muscle. Just before the next heartbeat, all the cuffs deflate at the same time, which decreases the amount of work the heart has to do.
Are you a candidate for EECP® therapy?
Your doctor will examine you and review your medical history to determine if you are a candidate for EECP® therapy. You may be a candidate if:
- You have angina.
- Your heart medications no longer relieve your angina symptoms.
- You had open-heart surgery, a balloon angioplasty or stent, or other invasive procedures.
- You have chosen not to have any further surgery, angioplasties, or invasive procedures.