Enhanced external counterpulsation (EECP) is a treatment for chronic, stable chest pain known as angina . Angina happens when there is not enough blood and oxygen being pumped to the heart to support the work it is doing. It may also be used to treat certain people with heart failure .
Cuffs, similar to blood pressure cuffs, are placed on the legs. These cuffs inflate and deflate with air to the rhythm of the heart. This helps to push blood back toward the heart, increasing blood flow. Since circulation is improved, the heart does not have to work so hard.
Reasons for Procedure
You may have EECP to treat angina if:
Your medications are not working well enough
You are not a good candidate for surgery
Your doctor wants you to try a nonmedical alternative before considering surgery
You have had surgery but are still having chest pain
The benefits of EECP may include:
Decrease in symptoms of angina
Decreased need for angina medications
Ability to do activities, such as exercise, without angina
Improved heart function if a lack of oxygenated blood flow is a problem
Improved quality of life