EECP® is a trademarked brand used to describe an “Enhanced” version of the medical treatment of External Counterpulsation Therapy. EECP is non-surgical, out-patient procedure proven to reduce various symptoms in patients with Stable Angina from Ischemic Coronary Artery Disease. EECP Therapy is a very safe treatment option which generally poses no risk or potential complications to a patient as compared to traditional invasive cardiac procedures.
EECP is very effective in restoring oxygenated blood flow the heart muscle a mechanical sequence that inflates (squeezes) blood pressure (like) cuffs starting at the calves, then the thighs and lastly the buttocks methodically returning blood back the heart on each heart cycle. The cuffs hold the inflation (squeeze) of the extremities just prior to the next systolic event (or natural heart beat) when it immediately deflates assisting the heart to delivery blood to the rest of the body. The inflation / deflation sequence is precisely timed on the patient’s heart beat making it seem instantaneous to the naked eye. The mechanical treatment is proven in clinical studies to promote growth of new vessels (also known as collaterals) around narrowed and blocked arteries of the heart. These new paths have profound benefits by restoring blood flow of oxygenated blood to the the heart.
It is not uncommon for many to use “EECP” rather than “ECP” as a common to describe the procedure of External Counterpulsation Therapy. The primary reason is because the equipment company holding the trademark (Vasomedical) was responsible for publishing the majority of the published clinical literature in circulation. With that being the case, it is no surprise that EECP is more often generally intended to signify the common use of the treatment of External Counterpulsation Therapy and not for identifying a brand or trademark holder. EECP is not the official name of the treatment modality but rather a legal trademark used by the equipment manufacturer to distinguish their EECP brand from other External Counterpulsation Therapy or ECP companies.
EECP is a rehabilitation process that provides mechanical external cardiac assistance on a consistent regimen resulting in significant improvement in energy and exercise tolerance much like an exercise program. By restoring oxygenated blood flow, there are abundant benefits to the body. This restoration of nutrient rich blood flow revives tissue in parts of the heart and body that have become ‘stunned’ or ‘hibernated’ due to restricted or blocked blood flow. The heart benefits greatly as patients will see an improvement in structure, strength (contracility) and a reduction in afterload (workload) due to the reduction in systemic vascular resistance. Patients that complete the 35 day treatment session will see improvements in symptoms of chest pain, shortness of breath, chronic fatigue (tiredness) as well as a significant improvement in exercise tolerance (energy).
Although EECP provides abundant benefits to the overall wellness of the patient, the current guidelines for Medicare & Private Insurance coverage are for those that suffer from Stable Angina from Ischemic Coronary Artery Disease. These are patients that have documented Coronary Artery Disease but whose lives are affected from conducting daily activity due to pain and discomfort. Patients that have symptoms of chest pain, shortness of breath & chronic fatigue from walking or physical activity can be good candidates for treatment.
Although the term EECP is a slight variation of the acronym ECP, there is no difference in the actual process or potential outcomes between EECP and ECP. Both employ the exact same in process in that it consists of a series of cuff securely wrapped around the calves, thighs and the buttocks which inflate in a systematic sequential order starting at the ankles (calves) then the thighs, and lastly the buttocks squeezing the vascular tissue mechanically delivering blood back to the heart.> Both ECP Therapy and EECP Therapy are FDA approved and covered by Medicare and private insurance in the United States.
EECP and ECP are equally effective in terms of patient outcomes as virtually every clinician knows that counterpulsation is NOT complicated technology. In fact, this technology has been around since the 1960’s in the U.S with the advent of inter-aortic balloon pumps. Inflating/deflating pressures gated (timed) on the patients ECG waveform cannot be so complicated that another device doing the exact same thing would not generate the same results. Many physicians found it insulting to complicate such simple physics.
Now that we have demonstrated that both ECP or EECP are the same exact process, we can now conclude that both the same clinical benefits when delivered to the appropriate patient candidate. ECP and EECP have been proven in over 150 clinical trials to be a safe and effective treatment procedure with a success rate of more than 80% Patients that complete the 35 day rehabilitation period will see a drastic improvement in energy, exercise tolerance, cardiac function, mobility and improvement in overall quality of life. This treatment is a rehabilitation supplement for intense exercise without any risk or stress to the body! Patients with symptoms of Chest Pain will see their symptoms relieved or often eliminating the need for nitrates and other medications for CAD.