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What is EECP Therapy?

EECP Therapy is an outpatient treatment for angina and heart failure. Treatments are usually given for an hour each day, five days a week, for a total of 35 hours.

During the treatment, you lie on a comfortable treatment table with large blood pressure-like cuffs wrapped around your legs and buttocks. These cuffs inflate and deflate at specific times between your heart beats. A continuous electrocardiogram (ECG) is used to set the timing so the cuffs inflate while the heart is at rest, when it normally gets its supply of blood and oxygen. The cuffs deflate at the end of that rest period, just before the next heart beat. The special sensor applied to your finger checks the oxygen level in your blood and monitors the pressure waves created by the cuff inflations and deflations.

How does EECP Therapy relieve the symptoms of angina and heart failure?

Angina is a signal from your heart muscle that it is not receiving enough blood and oxygen because the arties that supply the heart muscle are blocked or narrowed. Angina, often called "chest pain," can also be pain down the left arm, between the shoulder blades, or in the jaw. Heart failure occurs when the heart muscle becomes so weak it cannot pump enough blood to meet the demands of the rest of the body. There are two types of heart failure. The most common type is "ischemic." The heart muscle is damaged by a long-standing lack of sufficient blood and oxygen, or by a heart attack. The other type is "non-ischemic" or "ideopathic." Some of the possible causes include a viral infection of the heart muscle, disease of the heart valves, high blood pressure, or the abuse of alcohol or drugs, or the cause may not be known. Heart failure symptoms include having trouble breathing and feeling very tired after even a small amount of effort.

EECP Therapy works by increasing the blood and oxygen supply to the heart muscle and decreasing the amount of work the heart has to do to pump blood to the rest of the body. While the heart is at rest, the treatment cuffs inflate from the calves to the thighs to the buttocks, increasing the blood supply to the arteries feeding the heart muscle. Just before the next heart beat, all the cuffs deflate at the same time, which decreases the amount of work the heart has to do.

Are you a candidate for EECP Therapy?

Please contact our office or stop by to pick up an EECP Therapy brochure for more information.