EECP (External Enhanced Counter Pulsation)

What is EECP?

EECP stands for External Enhanced Counter Pulsation, a safe non-invasive treatment for people suffering from angina and heart failure. 

Approved in the USA by the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) in 1995, it is now established across North America, the Middle East, Russia, India, China and parts of Europe.  The European Society of Cardiology has also approved EECP and in 2013 upgraded its recommendation, stating that the treatment should  be offered to individuals in whom heart bypass surgery or stents are not possible or appropriate.

EECP can help other conditions, like diabetes, kidney impairment, erectile dysfunction and restless legs.  In parts of world it is used to treat depression and sleep apnea.  It is effective in micro-vascular angina, a form of angina most commonly found in women. 

Treatment comprises 35 one hour outpatient sessions, given over a period of four to seven weeks.  Patients lie on a couch and three sets of cuffs are placed on their legs, around the calves, thighs and the buttocks and waist.  These high pressure cuffs inflate in sequence, timed to the heart filling and then deflate simultaneously, just as the next heart beat begins.  This action reduces the amount of work that the heart has to do to drive the circulation and reverses the direction of blood flow in the body, increasing the amount of oxygen rich blood passing through the heart, kidneys, brain and other organs.  These changes open up channels, called collaterals, around narrowed and blocked blood vessels, improving flow to areas that are short of blood.EECP also stimulates the growth of new blood vessels. 

For patients with angina, treatment usually reduces the severity and frequency of chest pains and for some individuals, stops angina altogether.  The strength of the heart and other muscles in the body increases, enabling people to exercise more comfortably and vigorously and helping to improve general well being and quality of life.  For many, the benefits of a single course of EECP are still felt years later.

Alexander House was one of the first EECP centres established in Europe and has been treating insured, self-finding and NHS patients since 2004.  If you think EECP might help you please contact us.

Telephone:  020 8544 1000        
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Visit us for an informal chat: 15 Princes Road, Wimbledon SW19 8RQ