What is EECP?
EECP therapy is a safe, non-invasive, outpatient treatment option for patients suffering from ischemic heart diseases such as angina/coronart artery disease and heart failure. EECP therapy has helped thousands of patients. In fact, clinical studies show, over 75% of patients benefit from EECP therapy and sustain improvement up to three years post- treatment.
EECP therapy works by increasing the blood and oxygen supply to the heart 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, which increases the blood supply to the arteries feeding the heart muscle. Just before the next heart beat, all the cuffs deflate at the same time, which decreases the amount of work the heart has to do.
How does EECP work?
A course of EECP therapy involves 35 consecutive one hour sessions. During an EECP clinic visit, a patient lies on a comfortable bed and has blood pressure-type cuffs wrapped around his or her calves and thighs. Cardiac monitoring wires are attached to the patient’s chest to record the heart beat, and then the EECP pumping console rapidly inflates and deflates the leg cuffs in time with the heart beat. Patients can listen to music, read or eben sleep during EECP therapy. The immediate result of this pumping is to dramatically improve blood flow back into the heart while simultaneously reducing the heart’s workload.
The EECP treatment gently but firmly compresses the blood vessels in the lower limbs to increase blood flow to your heart. Each wave of pressure is timed to the heartbeat by use of an ekg, so that the increased blood flow is delivered to your heart at the precise moment it is relaxing. When the heart pumps again, pressure is released instantaneously. This lowers resistance in the blood vessels in the legs so that blood may be pumped more easily from your heart.
EECP encourages blood vessels to open small channels that become extra branches. These channels or collaterals eventually become “natural bypass” vessels to provide blood flow to the heart muscle. This contributes to the relief of symptoms, improved perfusion of the heart and increased strength of the heart muscle.
After each EECP 1-hour session, patients return to their normal daily activities without limitations.