An enhanced external counterpulsation, or EECP, is a non-invasive treatment that is performed to reduce angina episodes, both in frequency and intensity. EECP treatment is performed through inflatable cuffs.
These cuffs are applied around your legs and buttocks and work by continuously inflating and deflating between heartbeats. The innovative treatment increases the amount of blood returned to the heart, assisting to supply oxygen to the areas that are oxygen-starved, allowing the heart to function in a healthier manner and reduce the chest pain of angina.
Am I a candidate for an EECP treatment?
You may be a good candidate for this non-invasive treatment if you have had coronary bypass surgery or a stent and are suffering from ongoing angina, or you have never had a stent or bypass but are experiencing angina. Not every heart patient is a candidate, but testing and a review of your medical history will determine if this is a good treatment for your chest pain.
What can an EECP treatment do for me?
This treatment can greatly improve heart health, with the following benefits:
- Decreases in chest pain frequency and intensity
- Increased energy
- Increased ability to exercise comfortably
- Decrease the need to take certain medications (nitroglycerin)
- Improved heart health
Chronic angina and EECP: A non-invasive treatment
EECP is an outpatient treatment. You will be lying on a padded treatment bed with a pulse oximeter and electrodes attached to your chest. These are connected to the EKG machine to track your heart rhythm. Your blood pressure will also be monitored. A set of specialized cuffs will be wrapped around the lower and upper legs and buttocks, attached to air hoses that inflate and deflate the cuffs. The sensation is a squeezing effect when the cuffs are inflated, and then a release, timed with your heartbeat and blood pressure. This therapy is delivered for one hour per day, five days a week, for seven weeks.
EECP treatments and you: No recovery time.
You will be wearing special pants we provide and will be given direction about what to eat (or not eat), along with any medication changes. You will be informed about what to expect and any pretreatment actions you need to do. You should find this therapy to be easy to tolerate. You can drive to and from your treatment appointments, and there is no recovery time. You may experience minor dizziness or headache, but this is uncommon. You could feel somewhat tired after your treatment as if you have engaged in an hour of exercise – which is essentially true.
San Diego Cardiac Center for EECP treatments
When you are treated at San Diego Cardiac Center, you are under the care of heart specialists with the highest level of expertise, who deliver the entire spectrum of advanced cardiac care. Our team is progressive in adopting new, groundbreaking therapies and procedures as a result of our clinical research experience. We often adopt new therapies long before they become widely available. Our heart clinic is equipped with cutting-edge technology and performs an array of newer procedures that are less invasive than the traditional approach, with excellent outcomes, including EECP treatments.