EECP for Angina and Heart Failure
A non-invasive option to better health
by Joanne Quinn
Many people suffer from heart failure and angina, making simple activities challenging. Many think that the only option is heart bypass surgery or the placement of stents in the arteries to increase blood flow. However, for some this invasive medical treatment is not an option or desirable. For those there is a therapy called Enhanced External Counterpulsation (EECP). This therapy has been shown to be effective and safe. Studies show that 80% of the patients who finish the 35-hour course of treatment have significant relief of their symptoms that lasts for up to three years.
The EECPTM machine pumps between heartbeats. This counterpulsation to your own heartbeat increases blood flow to the heart muscle, decreases the heart's workload and creates greater oxygen supply while lowering oxygen demand.
The EECP therapy is done on an outpatient basis. Treatments usually last for an hour each day, five days a week, for a total of 7 weeks or 35 hours. The patient lies on a treatment table with large blood pressure-like cuffs wrapped around their legs and upper thighs. These cuffs inflate and deflate at intervals matching the heart beat of the patient. A continuous electro cardiogram (ECG) is used to set the intervals 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. Oxygen levels in the blood are monitored using a special sensor applied to the finger. This also monitors the pressure waves created by the inflating/deflating cuffs.
EECP therapy is provided at some of the world's leading institutions including the Whitaker Wellness Institute, Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, University of California at San Francisco and San Diego, Duke University Medical Center, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and many more.
Research shows that if you've been diagnosed with high blood pressure, diabetic neuropathy, vision problems, Parkinson's disease, kidney disease, memory disorders or another circulatory disorder, you could benefit from EECP.
FAIM was grateful to learn about this therapy in light of recent statistics indicating an increased risk of stroke in patients over 70 years of age who receive stents as a result of angina or heart failure. This therapy offers a noninvasive option for these patients.
To locate a clinic near you which offers this therapy visit the Vasomedical patient resource page.
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