What is Enhanced Extracorporeal CounterPulsation (EECP)?
EECP is a non-invasive, outpatient therapy for patients who have persistent anginal symptoms, who have exhausted the standard treatments for revascularization (stents, bypass surgery) but are still symptomatic even with maximal medical therapy.
Enhanced External Counterpulsation (EECP) stimulates the opening or formation of collaterals (small branches of blood vessels) to create a natural bypass around narrowed or blocked arteries.
Who is a candidate for EECP?
You may be a candidate if you:
- Have chronic stable angina
- Are not receiving adequate relief from angina by taking medications
- Do not qualify as a candidate for further invasive procedures (bypass surgery, angioplasty, or stenting)
What happens during EECP treatment?
- Patients lie down on a padded table in a treatment room
- The ECG is monitored continuously
- A set of cuffs is wrapped around the calves, thighs and buttocks. These cuffs attach to air hoses that connect to valves that inflate and deflate the cuffs. Patients experience a sensation of a strong "hug" moving upward from calves to thighs to buttocks during inflation followed by the rapid release of pressure on deflation
- Inflation and deflation are electronically synchronized with the heartbeat and blood pressure using the ECG and blood pressure monitors
How often are patients treated?
Patients undergo 35 hours of EECP therapy. Treatment is administered one hour per day, five days per week, for 7 weeks. Published studies have demonstrated multiple benefits including:
- Less need for anti-anginal medication
- Decrease in symptoms of angina
- Increased ability to do activities without onset of symptoms
- Ability to return to enjoyable activities