External Counterpulsation (ECP)
For people with angina or heart failure, even simple activities— such as going to the mailbox or walking the dog — can be challenging. If you are one of these people, take heart. There is a non-invasive treatment called ECP Therapy that clinical experience has shown to be safe and to have benefit for the treatment of angina and heart failure. Approximately 80% of patients who complete the 35-hour course of ECP Therapy experience significant symptom relief that may last up to three years.
ECP is a safe, non-surgical treatment procedure that delivers great clinical benefits to patients with symptomatic coronary artery disease. It measures the heart’s electrical activity, with cuffs placed on the legs that inflate and deflate in response to these signals.
ECP Therapy is an outpatient treatment for angina and heart failure. Treatments are usually given for an hour each day, five days a week, for a total of 35 hours. During the treatment, you lie on a comfortable treatment table with large blood pressure-like cuffs wrapped around your legs and buttocks. These cuffs inflate and deflate at specific times between your heart beats. A continuous electrocardiogram (ECG) is used to set the timing so the cuffs in ate while the heart is at rest, when it normally gets its supply of blood and oxygen. The cuffs deflate at the end of that rest period, just before the next heartbeat. The special sensor applied to your finger checks the oxygen level in your blood and monitors the pressure waves created by the cuff inflations and deflations.