EECP: Revitalizing Your Heart with 1 Single Step


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Discover the Science Behind Enhanced External Counter pulsation

It is natural for any patient with heart disease, especially having been diagnosed with blockage of coronary (heart) arteries, to look out for treatment other than the ones popular like CABG and Angioplasty, an alternative that does not involve any kind of invasive treatment.

Are you looking for a such type of non-invasive treatment to revive your heart health and live better? Look no further than Enhanced External Counter pulsation (EECP), a 1 single step solution to help you live longer, healthy and better life.

This method of treatment can be a boon for those who cannot afford expensive heart treatment.

In this article, we will delve into the science behind this innovative therapy and how it can help revitalize your heart.

What is EECP?

Enhanced External Counter Pulsation, or EECP is a non-invasive treatment that has been approved by the FDA. It is designed to improve blood flow to the heart by increasing collateral circulation. This therapy involves the use of cuffs that are wrapped around the lower body, including the legs and buttocks.

Image of a EECP machine for cardiovascular disease
Image sourceMade In China Store

These cuffs inflate and deflate in sync with your heartbeat, creating a pumping action that increases blood flow to the heart. This process helps deliver extra oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscles, reducing symptoms of angina and improving overall heart function.

How EECP Works

The mechanism behind EECP lies in its ability to stimulate the formation of new blood vessels, a process known as angiogenesis. The synchronized inflation and deflation of the cuffs during therapy create a counter pulsation effect.

Patient undergoing EECP treatmemt
Patient undergoing EECP treatment at SAAOL Heart Center

When the cuffs inflate, they create external pressure on the arteries, causing blood to be pushed back towards the heart.

Image showing how EECP works
Image Source: NCBI Attributes to Qin et al

This increases the workload on the heart, promoting the growth of new blood vessels to improve blood flow and is called Angiogenesis.

When the cuffs deflate, the pressure is released, allowing blood to flow more freely and efficiently throughout the body.

Benefits of EECP

The benefits of EECP are numerous and far-reaching. One of the primary advantages of this therapy is its non-invasive nature.

Unlike invasive procedures such as angioplasty or bypass surgery, EECP does not require any incisions or anesthesia. It is a safe and painless treatment option for individuals with heart conditions.

Moreover, EECP offers long-lasting results. The formation of new blood vessels stimulated by EECP can lead to improved blood flow even after the treatment has ended.

Another significant benefit of EECP is its effectiveness in treating chronic heart conditions. Many patients who have not responded well to medications or who are unsuitable candidates for invasive procedures have found relief with EECP.

This therapy can

  • reduce symptoms of angina,
  • enhance exercise tolerance, and
  • improve overall heart function.

It also has the potential to decrease the need for medication and reduce the risk of future heart-related events.

Who Can Benefit from EECP

EECP is suitable for a wide range of individuals with various heart conditions. It is commonly recommended for patients with chronic stable angina, a condition characterized by recurring chest pain or discomfort due to reduced blood flow to the heart.

EECP can also be beneficial for individuals with heart failure, coronary artery disease, or individuals who have undergone previous heart procedures but still experience symptoms.

It is important to note that EECP may not be suitable for everyone. Individuals with certain medical conditions, such as uncontrolled hypertension, severe heart valve disease, or certain types of irregular heart rhythms, may not be eligible for EECP.

It is crucial to consult with a qualified healthcare provider to determine if EECP is the right treatment option for you.

Research and Studies on EECP

Extensive research and studies have been conducted to evaluate the efficacy of EECP. Multiple clinical trials have shown positive outcomes for patients undergoing EECP therapy.

These studies have demonstrated significant improvements in exercise capacity, reduction in angina symptoms, and enhanced quality of life for patients with chronic stable angina and heart failure.

One study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology showed that EECP can improve exercise capacity and quality of life in patients with heart failure. The study found that patients who received EECP had increased exercise duration and improved symptoms compared to those who did not undergo the treatment.

Another study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association compared EECP to sham therapy in patients with chronic stable angina. The study concluded that EECP was associated with significant improvements in exercise duration, angina frequency, and nitroglycerin use.

These studies, along with many others, highlight the effectiveness of EECP in treating various heart conditions and improving overall cardiac function.

EECP treatments: The Procedure- What to Expect During a Session

An EECP session typically lasts for about one hour and is performed on an outpatient basis. During the treatment, you will be comfortably positioned on a padded table. Cuffs will be wrapped around your legs and buttocks, and ECG leads will be attached to monitor your heart’s electrical activity.

Once the session begins, the cuffs will inflate and deflate in sync with your heartbeat. You may feel a squeezing sensation in your legs as the cuffs inflate, but it should not be painful. The inflation and deflation will continue throughout the session, creating the counterpulsation effect that improves blood flow to the heart.

Most patients undergo a series of EECP sessions, typically five days a week for a total of 35 sessions. Each session builds upon the previous one, gradually improving blood flow and overall heart function. The number of sessions may vary depending on the individual’s condition and response to treatment.

Benefits of EECP treatment: Comparison with other heart treatments

When it comes to treating heart conditions, there are various options available, including medications, invasive procedures, and lifestyle modifications.

While each treatment option has its own benefits and considerations, EECP offers several advantages over other interventions.

In contrast to medications, which may come with side effects or may not effectively control symptoms for some individuals, EECP is a non-pharmacological treatment that tackles the root cause of reduced blood flow to the heart. It helps stimulate the formation of new blood vessels, improving blood circulation and reducing the need for medication in some cases.

Compared to invasive procedures such as angioplasty or bypass surgery, EECP is a non-invasive alternative that does not require incisions or anesthesia.

It carries fewer risks and complications while still offering significant benefits for individuals with chronic heart conditions.

Lifestyle modifications, such as adopting a heart-healthy diet and engaging in regular exercise, are essential for maintaining heart health.

However, these changes may not always be enough to reverse the effects of reduced blood flow. EECP can be a valuable addition to lifestyle modifications, providing targeted therapy to improve blood flow and enhance heart function.

Success Stories and Testimonials from EECP Patients

Many individuals who have undergone EECP therapy have experienced remarkable improvements in their heart health and quality of life.

Success stories and testimonials from EECP patients serve as inspiring accounts of the transformative effects of this therapy. [ The case studies discussed below is for information purpose only and does not have any relevence to any living person].

Case Study 1

John, a 63-year-old retiree, had been living with chronic stable angina for several years. Despite taking multiple medications, he still experienced frequent chest pain and limitations in his daily activities.

After undergoing a series of EECP sessions, John noticed a significant reduction in angina symptoms and an increase in his exercise capacity. He was able to resume activities he once enjoyed, such as hiking and playing golf, without experiencing chest pain.

Case Study 2

Sarah, a 56-year-old woman with heart failure, struggled with fatigue and shortness of breath. Medications provided some relief, but she still felt limited in her ability to engage in physical activities.

After completing an EECP treatment course, Sarah experienced a notable improvement in her energy levels and exercise tolerance. She could walk longer distances and participate in activities with her grandchildren, bringing her immense joy and a renewed sense of vitality.

These success stories highlight the potential of EECP to transform the lives of individuals with heart conditions, offering them a chance to regain their independence and enjoy a better quality of life.

Finding an EECP Provider Near You

If you are considering EECP as a potential treatment option for your heart condition, it is crucial to find a qualified and experienced provider.

Start by consulting with your primary care physician or cardiologist to determine if EECP is suitable for your specific needs. They can refer you to a reputable EECP facility or provide you with a list of certified providers in your area.

In India, SAAOL Heart Center has installed this machine at many places to cater for patients of coronary heart disease.

When selecting an EECP provider, consider factors such as their experience, accreditation, and patient reviews. It is important to choose a provider who understands your unique condition and can tailor the treatment to your individual needs.

FAQs on EECP

Does EECP really work?

Yes, EECP can be effective for certain individuals in improving blood circulation and relieving symptoms of certain cardiovascular conditions. It is recommended to consult with a medical professional to determine if EECP is suitable for your specific situation.

What does EECP therapy do?

EECP therapy is a non-invasive treatment that improves blood flow to the heart, reducing symptoms of heart disease and improving exercise tolerance.

Can EECP remove heart blockage?

EECP (Enhanced External Counterpulsation) is a non-invasive treatment that can potentially help improve symptoms of heart disease, such as angina. However, it is not a direct method for removing heart blockages. For the actual removal of heart blockages, medical procedures like angioplasty or bypass surgery are usually recommended. It is crucial to consult with a qualified healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment options.

How much does EECP cost in the US?

The cost of EECP in the US can vary depending on several factors such as the location, the number of sessions required, and any additional services included. It is recommended to contact specific healthcare providers or facilities for accurate cost information.
In India, the cost works out to be Rs. 2500/- per session, roughly $30/-, with total expenses coming to around Rs. 90000/- to Rs.100000/-.

Finally, as I come to the end of this article, I would like you to watch a video on the use and benefits of this treatment.

Watch this video

Conclusion: Is EECP Right for You?

Enhanced External Counter Pulsation (EECP) is a scientifically proven therapy that can revitalize your heart health. By stimulating the formation of new blood vessels, EECP improves blood flow to the heart, reducing symptoms of angina, and enhancing overall heart function.

This non-invasive treatment offers long-lasting results and has shown positive outcomes for individuals who are unresponsive to medications or unsuitable candidates for invasive procedures.

If you are seeking a cutting-edge treatment to rejuvenate your heart, consider exploring the potential of EECP.

Consult with your healthcare provider to determine if EECP is the right treatment option for you.

With its numerous benefits and success stories, EECP has the potential to transform your heart health and improve your quality of life.

I hope you have understood the science behind EECP and hope it helps you embark on a journey to revitalize your heart- go ahead and get it done if you have heart problems.

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My next article will be on pros and cons of drinking Alcohol.

Adios.