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Enhanced external counterpulsation-EECP

Enhanced external counterpulsation (EECP) is a noninvasive technique used to treat angina. Angina occurs when the heart muscle does not get enough blood and oxygen to support the work it is doing. EECP is designed to reduce the heart's workload and increasing the amount of oxygen-rich blood reaching the heart which in turn relieves angina pain. In this procedure a set of cuffs is wrapped around the calves, thighs and buttocks and these cuffs are attached to air hoses that are connected to valves that inflate and deflate the cuffs. Patients experience a sensation of a strong moving upward from calves to thighs to buttocks during inflation followed by the rapid release of pressure on deflation. Inflation and deflation are electronically synchronized .The EECP treatment gently but firmly compresses the blood vessels in the lower limbs which increase the blood flow to your heart. Each wave of pressure is electronically timed to the heartbeat in such a way that the increased blood flow is delivered to the heart at the exact moment it is relaxing. When the heart pumps again, pressure is released instantaneously which lowers resistance in the blood vessels in the legs and blood is pumped more easily from your heart. EECP encourages blood vessels to open small channels which eventually become "natural bypass" vessels to provide blood flow to heart muscle.

EECP is recommended to people who:

  • Have chronic stable angina
  • Are not receiving adequate relief from angina by taking nitrates
  • Do not qualify as a candidate for invasive procedures

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