EECP® Therapy:  Simple, non-invasive, effective

For people with angina or heart failure, even simple activities - such as going to the mailbox or walking the dog - can be challenging. 

If you are one of these people, take heart.  There is a non-invasive treatment called EECP® Therapy that clinical experience has shown to be safe and to have benefited patients for the treatment of angina and heart failure.  Patients who complete the 35-hour course of EECP® Therapy experience significant symptom relief.

What is EECP® (Enhanced External Counterpulsation)? 

EECP® Therapy is an outpatient treatment for  angina and heart failure.  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-cuffs wrapped around your legs and buttocks.  These cuffs inflate and deflate at specific times between your heart beats.  A continuous electrogram (ECG) is 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 that rest period, just before the next heart beat.  The special sensor applied to your finger checks the oxygen level in your blood and monitors the pressure waves created by the cuff inflations and deflations. 

How does EECP® Therapy relieve the symptoms of angina and heart failure? 

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.  Heart failure occurs when the heart muscle becomes so weak it cannot pump enough blood to meet the demands of the rest of the body.  Heart failure symptoms include having trouble breathing and feeling very tired after even a small amount of effort.

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, increasing 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.  The key points are:  EECP® Therapy is a non-invasive, safe therapy which can increase coronary perfusion, improve left ventricular function, decrease heart rate, decrease systemic vascular resistance and eventually decrease cardiac workload.  In a nutshell, the therapy enables our heart to pump more efficiently and with less effort.  Patients who have received the treatment found significant improvements in doing their daily physical activities.   


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