ECP and EECP Treatment is an effective non invasive treatment procedure for patients with symptoms from ischemic heart disease. Patients that suffer from chest pain, shortness of breath and chronic fatigue will see a substantial improvement upon completion of the full course of the 35 day treatment. The procedure is one that is administered on an outpatient basis where patients are required to commit to a total of 35 one hour rehabilitation treatments.
The concept of External Counterpulsation Therapy looks a bit odd at first site but the concept is really quite simple. EECP acts as a external cardiac assist device by squeezing the vascular beds starting in the calves, then upward to the thighs and lastly the buttocks area to return blood to heart countering (opposite) each heart beat. Then just prior to the next systolic event (heart beat), the cuffs instantaneously deflate creating a vacuum like effect assisting the heart deliver blood back out the arteries to the rest of the body. This mechanical inflation process returns blood back to the heart with such great force literally forces the development (and growth) of new pathways for oxygenated blood to the heart muscle.
As people age and as coronary artery disease progresses, patients typically become less active with a weakening heart muscle. This slow deterioration affects the function of the vascular system as the blockages increase with a weakening pump resulting in less oxygenated blood to all organs of the body. One of the most significant effects patients experience is a dramatic increase in energy and mood as blood flow rejuvenates (restores) oxygen-rich blood to areas that have been starved more many years. This restoring of blood flow to the heart significantly reduces symptoms because there is now a more efficient delivery of blood flow relieving chest pain and other symptoms from narrowed and blocked arteries. The Benefits of EECP reach beyond the heart as it delivers more blood flow to all organs of the body including the brain, kidneys, lungs, eyes skin etc..
What to Expect with Treatment
Beginning ECP or EECP treatment should be an exciting experience. Treatment is very tolerable as there is no pain and virtually no side effects if managed properly. Most ECP therapists / technicians are very well trained in how to deliver safe and comfortable treatment.
Most therapists provide an overview of the treatment protocol over the course of the 35 day treatment course.The week is usually quite simple as the treatment will be at a low pressure to allow you time to become acclimated with the inflation and deflation process. The idea in the first week is to build a tolerance to an increasing level of pressure needed to augment (increase) the pressure and blood flow during the diastolic or resting phase of the heart cycle.
You should start to increase the treatment pressure to higher levels. This time is important because you will need to pay attention to the cuff wrap and placement to ensure comfort during at the higher levels of pressure. Keep in mind, the results are usually proportionate to the level of pressure. Now this is not a concrete formula, but the more pressure delivered, the more blood flow occurs. This is helpful in optimizing the outcomes of the treatment.
Week 3 – Week 7:
This is where the excitement begins. It is almost like clockwork that you will begin to experience a much higher level of energy, alertness, stamina and increased mobility as the hemodynamics are changing within the vascular system. This means all your organs (including your heart) are receiving a much higher supply of oxygenated blood flow. This dramatic change is very positive in that you can now finally start to see why everyone is talking about External Countepulsation Therapy. You should feel better!
If you are not experiencing an dramatic change, do not get discouraged. The effects of ECP are different to all but you should be completely confident that there are positive changes occurring in the body. This enhanced function and delivery of healthy blood flow (whether you feel it or not) is a key component to your overall wellness.
For more information, you can Locate ECP or EECP Treatment Center near you.