What is Enhanced External Counterpulsation (EECP)?

EECP-paciente-con-dr-caceres

EECP is a well-established treatment for patients with Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)—hardening of the arteries that wrap around the heart.

How it works:

  • The patient lies on a comfortable bed with a series of pneumatic cuffs (similar to BP cuffs) wrapped around the calves, thighs, and buttocks.
  • Three electrodes are placed on the chest to monitor the heartbeats.
  • The cuffs will inflate and deflate in time with the patient’s heartbeats.
  • Cuff inflation occurs after each heartbeat—during diastole—providing a squeeze to the lower extremities and pushing the blood toward the heart. This increases the blood flow to the coronary arteries that provide much-needed oxygen and nourishment to the heart muscle.
  • Rapid cuff deflation occurs before the next heartbeat. This creates a void in the blood vessels of the lower extremities. This decreases the effort exerted by the heart when it contracts during systole.
  • Blood pressure changes are monitored by a sensor placed on one of the fingers.
  • Vital signs are obtained before and after each treatment.
  • The EECP therapist remains nearby to facilitate effective therapy, and ensure patient comfort.

EECP-proceso

The standard EECP treatment protocol consists of a one-hour session per day, five days a week, for seven consecutive weeks, for a total of 35 treatment sessions. A modified treatment protocol consists of two-hours per day, six days per week, for three weeks. Repeat EECP may be required in about 20% of patients, particularly if they failed to complete the initial 35-hours of EECP therapy.