External Counter Pulsation Therapy (EECP) is a non-invasive, non-surgical treatment to treat heart related disorders viz Coronary Artery Disease and Heart Failure.
The patient is made to relax comfortably on a padded bed and the patient’s calves and thighs are wrapped with pneumatic cuffs which are similar to blood pressure cuffs. Hoses connect the cuffs to an air pressure / vacuum pump enclosed within the bed base. The cuffs are sequentially filled with air during diastole, when the heart is momentarily at rest between beats. The cuffs are inflated during diastole in a timed sequence: the calves first, followed by the thighs and then the upper thighs. All the pressure is released at the onset of systole. This has a positive effect on the volume of blood flow and the blood pressure. The control panel of the EECP device, which is used to adjust cuffs, inflation and deflation, also provides both ECG monitoring and monitoring of pulse.
Patients are usually treated with EECP one hour per day, five days a week for seven weeks for a total of 35 hours. EECP develops and enlarges accessory blood vessels known as collaterals (Nature’s own bypass), creating new pathways around blocked coronary arteries in the heart, thereby increasing blood supply to the heart muscles.
EECP is unique because its mode of action is on the ”Small Vessels” in the heart, which are too small to be treated by bypass surgery or angioplasty, since it works on different areas of circulation, EECP is effective when other procedures fail
Patients get a huge relief following EECP. There is reduced need for medicines, reduced frequency and intensity of chest pain, increased exercise tolerance, improved sense of well being and overall improvement in quality of life. They are able to lead a more active life.