When the coronary arteries that carry blood supply to the heart get blocked, it causes the following problems:
- Severe chest pain
- Shortness of breath when at rest
- Excessive Shortness of breath while walking
Usually, the physicians treat the blockage of the coronary artery with the help of medicines, angioplasty, and stent or bypass surgery. There has been advancement in these therapeutic treatments. But, certain problems still persist as far as the treatment of chest pain is concerned. Drugs and other invasive procedures may not always prove to be effective. When the blood flow that is restored in the blocked area fails it can cause angina. Thus an effective treatment therapy is required which will help to decrease the chest pain and also improve the quality of life without using any complicated invasive treatment procedures. ECEP therapy is considered to be the most natural effective alternative which is non-invasive and non-pharmaceutical treatment.
What is EECP?
EECP or Enhanced External Counter Pulsation is a treatment given to patients who suffer from poor functioning of the heart and chest pain. It as an outpatient treatment and is considered to be safe in the treatment of heart failure and angina.
In this treatment, the patient is made to lie on a comfortable treatment table. Large blood pressure like cuffs is wrapped around the legs and buttocks of the patient. The cuffs deflate and inflate at specified interval of times between the patient’s heartbeats. The timing between the heartbeats is set with the help of a continuous ECG or Electro Cardiogram which enables the cuffs to inflate when the heart is at rest. It helps the heart gets its normal supply of oxygen and blood. The cuffs deflate at the end of the rest period and just before the next heart beat. The oxygen level in the patient’s blood is checked with the help of the special sensors which are applied to the fingers. These sensors also monitor the pressure waves that are created by the inflations and deflations of the cuff. The EECP therapy leads to expansion of the networks of the tiny blood vessels or capillaries and helps to develop new pathways around the arteries that are blocked. This results in the increase of the blood flow and also the normalization of the blood flow to the heart muscles.
What are the Benefits of EECP Therapy?
The EECP therapy is a simple, safe and non-invasive risk free treatment. It is considered to be an effective treatment for the following reasons:
- It is very cost effective as it does not involve surgery and hospital stay
- It does not disturb the patient’s daily routine life
- It makes the patient more energetic
- It enables the patient to return to work and participate in their active lifestyle
- It enables the patient to walk more distances without experiencing any chest pain
- It results in fewer or no angina in patients and also less painful episodes of angina
- It reduces the patient’s anti-angina medication needs
What is the total duration of the EECP treatment?
The EECP thearpy is given for a total of 35 hours. The patient is given treatment for an hour each day. It has to be taken for five days a week. If the patient misses any treatment session, the doctor’s adjust the sessions accordingly to enable the completion of the 35 hours treatment course. According to studies, a patient who completes 35 hours of the EECP therapy may experience relief which may last up to three years.
Is EECP Therapy an effective alternative to Heart Bypass Surgery?
The doctors consider this therapy as a comfortable, non-invasive and safe treatment therapy and have named it ‘natural bypass.’ They are of the opinion that EECP therapy helps to boost the circulation of blood flow throughout the body and also stimulates the collateral flow of blood. Besides bypass EECP also benefits patients with other cardiovascular problems like chest pain, coronary artery blockage, hypertension and heart failure. Patients who have already undergone angioplasty or surgery and are not getting any relief can choose the EECP therapy.
What should the patient follow after EECP therapy?
EECP helps to provide new vessels and it is very important to prevent any obstructions in the vessels by following these lifestyle changes:
- Exercising regularly
- Avoid Smoking
- Follow a healthy diet
- Control Weight gain or obesity
- Regular follow up with cardiologist
After completion of EECP course, the patients will experience increase in their energy levels and also a decrease in breathlessness and angina. EECP is recognized internationally and is provided by many leading hospitals worldwide. Poona Preventive Cardiology Center offers EECP therapy in Pune as an effective natural alternative treatment to heart bypass surgery.