While EECP® is performed, you will
be lying on a bed wearing a series of pressure cuffs (like large blood
pressure cuffs) around calves, lower thighs, and upper thighs.
The EECP® system includes a pressure source that inflates and deflates
these cuffs. The pressure moves the blood from your lower limbs toward the
heart. The vascular networks in the large muscles of your legs are
compressed in sequence, progressing form the calves upward. Each wave of
pressure is electronically synchronized with your heartbeat via an
electrocardiographic signal, so that the increased blood flow is delivered
to your heart at the precise moment it is relaxing and blood flow through
the coronary vessels is at its peak. When the heart pumps again, the
pressure in the cuffs is withdrawn and the cuffs are deflated
instantaneously. This lowers resistance in the vascular bed of your legs
so that blood may be pumped more easily form the heart.
What are the
physical effects of EECP®? Is it uncomfortable?
The one-hour treatment sessions
with EECP® are painless. Because of the natural movement of the
pressurized cuffs, chafing and skin irritation can occur. To prevent this,
you are advised to wear light fitting pants, such as ankle length bicycle
pants. Otherwise, there is virtually no discomfort. Many patients find
they are able to listen to their favorite music and tapes, or otherwise
relax during therapy.
Since it is timed by your heartbeat, the EECP® system will
automatically turn off if your heartbeat goes above or below a specific
rate. If you have any specific concerns about the effects of EECP® or your
own physical limitations, you should consult your private physician.
Must you do
anything special to prepare for treatment?
If you have been selected as a
candidate by your treating physician, little else is required in the way
Are there any
precautions to take while receiving treatment?
You should continue taking your
medication at the regular prescribed dosages throughout the course of
treatment and confer with your physician as needed.
Are there any
adverse reactions related to treatment with EECP®?
There are not known adverse
effects as a result of receiving treatment with EECP®.
How soon can I
expect to feel an improvement in my condition?
Because each individual's
condition is unique, there is no specific time when you can expect to feel
an improvement. Experience has shown; however, that patients tend to
report some improvement in their condition after as few as 10 or 12
treatments sessions, although others do require longer.
might I experience from this treatment?
ECP can have a range of benefits
depending upon the individual patient. Most patients suffering from
chronic disabling angina pectoris have experienced relief of pain
associated with this condition after a full course of treatment.
In a study of patients with chronic disabling angina, all experienced
substantial relief of anginal symptoms after treatment with EECP®.
Typical benefits for patients might include:
Decreased in chest pain
Reduction in the use of medication
Ability to enjoy a more independently mobile and active lifestyle
While it is not expected that everyone suffering from chronic angina
pectoris will experience the same level of improvement, it does appear
that EECP® is an effective therapy for many angina patients.