An increasingly large number of patients who have persistent angina symptoms are severely restricted after have exhausted the standard treatments for revascularization of the cardiac muscle. Enhanced External Counterpulsation (EECP) may stimulate the openings or formation of collaterals (small branches of blood vessels) to create a natural bypass around narrowed or blocked arteries. EECP Therapy is an FDA approved procedure that is covered by insurance.
Do you experience any of the following concerns?
- Have chronic stable angina
- Are not receiving adequate relief from angina by taking nitrates, calcium channel blockers or beta blockers?
- Not suitable as a candidate for invasive procedures (bypass surgery, angioplasty, or stenting)
- If exorbitant cost a deterrent factor for bypass surgery and angioplasty.
- Other co-morbidities make you unfit for surgery; like for eg, Diabetes Mellitus, Bronchial Asthma, Kidney Failure, Thyroid Disorders, Age more than 80 years
- Wouldn’t want to undergo another bypass surgery
- If you have chest pain or breathlessness of cardiac origin and are severely restricted.
- If your stent have got blocked again
- Had coronary artery bypass (CABG) or stents placed in the coronary arteries with ongoing angina.
- Had no prior bypass or stenting but continue to suffer from angina
How does it work?
Enhanced External Counter Pulsation (EECP) is performed as a non-invasive treatment to lower the number and intensity of angina episodes. Treatment is administered through three pairs of external inflatable cuffs that are applied around the lower legs, upper legs, and buttocks.
During the EECP treatment, it gently but firmly compresses the blood vessels in the lower limbs to increase blood flow to your heart. Each wave of pressure is electronically timed to the heartbeat so that the increased blood flow is delivered to your heart at the moment it is relaxing with precision. When the heart pumps again, the 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 may encourage blood vessels to open small channels that become extra branches. These channels or collaterals may eventually become “natural bypass” vessels to provide blood flow to the heart muscle. With more oxygen available, the heart can function much more efficiently and therefore contributes to the relief of angina symptoms.
EECP treatment should be an exciting experience. Treatment is very tolerable as there is no pain and virtually no side effects if managed properly at Gawai Healthcare, our nurses are very well trained in how to deliver safe and comfortable treatment.
Patients often watch television or listen to music during the treatment. The entire process, from the patient’s arrival to departure takes about an hour or less depending on the patient condition.
EECP Therapy is Equivalent to Intense EXERCISE!!
EECP Therapy for elderly patients with an inactive lifestyle can experience as much as 6 times the amount of peripheral exercise benefit from just under ONE hour of treatment than any level of tolerated physical exercise. The mechanical stimulation of EECP Therapy acts as a cardiac assist device forcing oxygenated blood to all organs of the body including ischemic territories (areas of blockages). In other words, ECP can restore the delivery of oxygenated blood flow throughout the vascular system as much as 6 times faster than any tolerated physical exercise. External Counterpulsation Therapy acts as a bridge to improving aerobic exercise tolerance and wellness without any of the risks to the heart or body.
Patients who should not undergo EECP include those with:
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
- Severe congenital heart disease
- Severe valvular disease
- People with risk of Hemorrhage or clot in their body
- Atrial fibrillation (Afib)
- Pulmonary hypertension
- Peripheral artery disease (PAD), also called peripheral vascular disease (PVD)
- Severely elevated blood pressure
- Heart rate greater than 120 beats per minute
What are the other advantages of EECP treatment?
- Increased oxygen supply for the heart
- The decrease in chest pain
- Improved EKG response to exercise
- The decrease in nitroglycerin or any anti-angina medicine use
- Decrease the workload of the heart
- Retrograde Arterial flow (shear stress) increases endothelial function
- Peripheral training effects similar to exercise
- Cardiac remodeling in stunned and hibernated myocardium
- Improvement in oxygen consumption
- Increase in energy
- Increased exercise duration
- Release of growth factors
- The Benefits of EECP reach beyond the heart as it delivers more blood flow to all organs of the body including the brain, kidneys, lungs, eyes, skin and peripheral extremities, etc.
- Drastic improvement in patients with erectile dysfunction and enhanced sexual function in men
- Increased alertness (brain function)
- Reduced symptoms of fatigue
- Reduce symptoms of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease
- Reduce high blood pressure
- Regression of atherosclerosis
- Increased cardiac output
- The reduced symptom of shortness of breath
- Reduced heart palpitations
- Reduced leg pain from peripheral vascular disease
- Long term effects up to 2 – 5 years