Our cardiologists use enhanced external counter pulsation (EECP) to treat coronary artery disease not amenable to more traditional therapies such as angioplasty and bypass surgery. Coronary artery disease describes the gradual narrowing over years of the blood vessels bringing nutrients and oxygen to the muscle of the heart. Patients with coronary artery disease complain of squeezing and pressure in the chest with exercise. Patients with coronary artery disease also commonly complain of difficulty breathing.
Enhanced external counter pulsation (EECP) requires a series of office sessions each lasting approximately one hour. Prior to the session our technician wraps inflatable cuffs around the legs and buttocks. With each beat of the heart, the inflatable cuffs fill with air compressing the veins of the legs and increasing blood flow to the heart. During each session the heart gradually accommodates the increased blood flow by opening up previously unused blood vessels. These newly recruited blood vessels tend to remain open and continue functioning even after the treatments are completed, thereby improving blood flow to the heart and decreasing the symptoms associated with coronary artery disease.