Authors: Dr. Sanoj Raj

Today’s modern lifestyle has made it difficult for people to live a healthy and active lifestyle. It has increased the risk of obesity. Consequently, leading to diabetes, heart diseases, and cancers. According to the recent survey, heart diseases have surpassed the communicable diseases and is currently the number one death causing disease in India.

The growth of the heart disease should be a big concern. The better part is that treatment of heart disease has also exceled in the field. Heart patients are responding well after the treatment through EECP. There are a large, increasing number of patients who have persistent angina symptoms, who have exhausted the standard treatment Pulsation (EECP) may stimulate the openings or formation of collaterals (small branches of blood vessels) to create a natural bypass around narrowed or blocked arteries.

Dr.Abdul Kalam, Former president of India in his address in Mumbai on 25.02.2005 made plea for introducing non-invasive means to treat cardiac ailments. He said, “Technology for treating cardiovascular disease is slowly moving from very invasive to less invasive methods. In the 70’s bypass surgery was the big news in the treatment of coronary artery disease. In the 80’s, it was balloon angioplasty. In the 90’s, it was the stent and now in the 20th century we move a step further to a totally non-invasive treatment with EECP”

What is EECP: Enhanced External Counter Pulsation

EECP is a treatment performed on individuals with angina or cardiomyopathy or heart failure in order to minimize symptoms of ischemia, and improve functional capacity and quality of life. In various studies,

EECP has been shown to relieve angina and decrease the degree of ischemia in a cardiac stress test. EECP improves the flow of healthy and oxygenated blood to the heart by opening or forming small (collateral) blood vessels, which create natural bypasses around narrowed or blocked arteries.

EECP treatment process:

Patients who willing to take the treatment must undergo 35 hours of EECP therapy. Treatment is administered 1-2 hours a day, five days a week, for 7 weeks.

While a person is undergoing EECP, he/she has pneumatic cuffs on his or her legs and is connected to telemetry monitors that checks heart rate and rhythm. The most common type in use involves three cuffs placed on each leg (on the calves, the lower thighs, and the upper thighs (or buttock)). The cuffs are timed to inflate and deflate based on the individual's electrocardiogram. The cuffs should ideally inflate at the beginning of diastole and deflate at the beginning of systole. During the inflation portion of the cycle, the calf cuffs inflate first, then the lower thigh cuffs and finally the upper thigh cuffs. Inflation is controlled by a pressure monitor, and the cuffs are inflated to about 200 mmHg.

Figure 1: Steps of EECP

When timed correctly, this will decrease the afterload that the heart has to pump against, and increase the preload that fills the heart, increasing the cardiac output. In this way, ECP is similar to the intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP). Since it increases pressure in the aorta while the heart is relaxing (during diastole) ECP also increases blood flow into the coronary arteries, which also occurs during that phase.

How effective is EECP?
Studies on EECP show most patients:

  • Improve or completely eliminate their symptoms of angina.
  • Increase their stamina, exercise tolerance, and quality of life.
  • Reduce or eliminate their use of nitro-glycerine and other medications.
  • One study found that patients do just as well five years after EECP as those who have surgery are less likely than bypass and angioplasty patients to go to the emergency room, require hospital stays, and undergo additional surgical procedures
  • The patient can expect to have the same longevity with any of the three modalities.

Where is EECP available?
EECP is available at more than 200 locations in India, as well as around the world, including: Argentina, Canada, Columbia, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.

It has approve by FDA (U.S.A), NHS (U.K), American Heart Association, European Society of Cardiology, and American College of Cardiology etc. The treatment is available at our major centre, Oplus Hospital & Heart Centre in Delhi, Bihar & Jharkhand.

About the doctor:

I had been working as Resident Doctor under Cardiologist for last two years. I have worked with AIIMS and SAAOL Heart Centre (New Delhi) and graduated from American International Medical University. My expertise area includes curing heart disease without surgery and general practice of medicine.

I am currently running my own hospital, Oplus Hospital and Heart Centre.