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Enhanced External Counter-pulsation (EECP®) Therapy
A severe, constricting pain. The term is now applied mainly to chest pain. Angina is generally caused by insufficient blood flow to the heart. Episodes of angina are a common precursor to myocardial infarction (heart attack).
An increasing number of patients who have persistent angina symptoms have exhausted the standard treatments options without relief. EECP® therapy may help.
Are you a candidate?
- Do you have chronic stable angina?
- Are you taking nitrates that don’t provide adequate relief?
- Has your doctor told you that you do not qualify for invasive procedures like bypass surgery, angioplasty, or stenting?
EECP® is a non-invasive, outpatient therapy. During treatment, patients lie down on a padded table in a treatment room where three electrodes are placed on the chest to monitor activity. A set of cuffs is then wrapped around the calves, thighs and buttocks. These cuffs attach to air hoses that connect to valves that inflate and deflate the cuffs that are electronically synchronized with the heartbeat and blood pressure.
EECP® therapy gently but firmly compresses the blood vessels in the lower limbs to increase blood flow to the heart. Each wave of pressure is electronically timed to the heartbeat, so that the increased blood flow is delivered to your heart at the precise moment it is relaxing. When the heart pumps again, pressure is released instantaneously. This lowers resistance in the blood vessels in the legs so that blood may be pumped more easily from your heart.
EECP® therapy can eventually cause blood vessels to open small channels that become extra branches. These new channels may eventually become “natural bypass” vessels to provide blood flow to heart muscle, which contributes to the relief of angina symptoms.
Other benefits may include:
- Less need or no need for anti-angina medications
- Decreased insulin use
- Decreased or no angina symptoms
- Increased ability to do activities without symptoms
- Ability to return to better quality of life
Winchester Medical Center offers EECP® therapy. Benefits of EECP® therapy may last up to 2 years. Each patient is placed on a 35 day treatment plan, one hour each day, five days per week. For more information, please call the EECP® Clinic at Winchester Medical Center at 540-536-0517 (fax: 540- 536-0249). A physician’s referral is required for treatment.