What is External CounterPulsation?
ECP is a non-surgical, mechanical procedure to reduce the symptoms of angina pectoris by increasing blood flow to the heart. The beneficial effects of ECPpersist even after completion of the therapy.
Who will benefit by ECP?
Heart patients of Angina (Chest pain) and Myocardial Infraction (Heart Attack):
With failed angioplasty or bypass
Who are not fit for angioplasty or bypass
Who do not benefit by medicines
Who do not want angioplasty or bypass
ECP is also helpful in patients of:
Pain legs due to Peripheral Artery Disease
Cerebral ischaemia affecting memory and mental ability
Cerebral thrombosis /embolism causing paresis
Chronic Fatigue (Tiredness) Syndrome
How does the patient know that he is better?
Patients feel better and they test better. Patients require less medication, have less frequency and intensity of chest pain and discomfort, breath better and can walk longer distance and faster. Improvement can be confirmed with CCG or / and Stress Thallium tests. They have better exercise tolerance, improvement in quality of life and can lead a more active life.
Will Angiography, CardiovascularCartography and Stress Thallium show the improvement?
Improvement with ECP can be assessed with Cardiovascular Cartography (CCG) or Stress Thallium as they document the blood flow. Please note that blood flow is not proportionate to the degree of stenosis in blood vessels as is usually presumed. Angiography assesses the patency and stenosis in three big blood vessels and their major branches but is not suitable for visualizing the millions of smaller blood vessels and capillaries. Angiography also does not assess the blood flow to the heart muscle.
What are the advantages of ECP?
ECP is non-invasiev, simple, safe and effective treatment without anesthesia, surgery, wires or stents.
Is ECP possible after angioplasty & bypass surgery?
Yes, ECP can be done after angioplasty or bypass surgery where they have failed, recurrence or for additional benefit for a better and more active life style.
How soon does patient feel improvement with ECP?
Most patients improve between 10 to 20 treatments sessions however results may vary from patient to patient and some may require more treatment sessions depending on the severity of the disease.
ECPcauses immediate and sustained increase in heart's blood supply by:
Dilating coronary blood vessels
Opening dormant collaterals
Creating new blood vessels (angiogenesis)
How is ECPdone?
For ECPpatient wears a series of pressure cuffs (like large blood pressure cuffs) around the legs and lies on a bed. The cuffs inflate and deflate electronically synchronized with the heart beat (ECG) and move the the blood from the legs toward the heart. The increased blood flow is delivered to the heart’s blood vessels at the precise moment it is relaxing i.e. during diastole when blood flow through the coronary vessels is at its peak. When done repeatedly this increases collateral circulation thus creating bypass naturally without surgery.
How can the benefits of ECPbe enhanced?
ECP benefits can be enhanced with Artery Clearance Therapy (ACT) that can be taken before, with or after ECPand with good life style and proper medication.
How long does the treatment take?
Each ECP session is of one hour and one or two treatment sessions can be done in one day. Treatment can be done 5 to 7 days a week and usually 35 one hour sessions are required. Treatment can be completed minimum in 3 weeks time. Some patients may need more treatment sessions.