What are the benefits of EECP® Therapy?
Most patients experience positive results such as the following:
• Having no angina or angina that is less frequent and less intense
• Having more energy
• Being able to take part in more activities of daily living with little or no angina
• Enjoying a better quality of life
• Having a more positive outlook
Is EECP® Therapy comfortable?
There is a feeling of pressure from the cuffs around your legs and buttocks. Once you become accustomed to this pressure, the sessions usually pass comfortably.
How long does EECP® take?
EECP® is administered on a standard regiment of one hour a day, five days per week for seven weeks. This totals thirty-five one hour treatments to complete a course of EECP®.
What if I miss an appointment?
Having your EECP® therapy each day of the seven-week treatment course is an important part of receiving the greatest benefit. Missed treatments are usually made up so you receive all 35 hours.
How will I feel after the treatment?
EECP® therapy is often described as being like “passive exercise,” so you may feel tired after the first few days of treatment. This is normal, especially if you haven’t been exercising. Usually, once this short “training period” is over, you will begin to notice that you have more energy.
How long do the benefits of EECP® last after treatment?
The International EECP® Patient Registry (IEPR) collects data on the safety, effectiveness, and long-term benefits of EECP® therapy. The IEPR data have shown that benefits of EECP® therapy can last up to three years after completing a full course (35 hours) of treatment. Other smaller studies have shown the benefits last up to five years in some patients.
What are the risks of EECP® Therapy?
Occasionally, patients develop mild skin irritation in the areas under the treatment cuffs or experience muscle or joint discomfort. Some patients feel tired after the first few treatments but this usually ends after the first week. Rarely, patients develop shortness of breath requiring hospitalization and treatment. Your EECP® therapist is trained to make your treatments safe and to minimize risk.
Can EECP® dislodge plaque and cause a traumatic event?
No. Our bodies follow the laws of physics, and one principle law is that fluid will travel in the path of least resistance. Atherosclerotic plaques are calcified and hard, and they create an obstruction that detours the blood through alternate routes. During EECP®, when your blood is flowing to the heart, it will naturally bypass arteries with plaque and enter healthy, non-diseased blood vessels to go around blockages. Throughout the EECP® cycle, these new pathways are reinforced and become lasting routes for blood to reach your heart muscle beyond blockages. Almost every EECP® patient has multiple blockages; no one has ever had a heart attack or a stroke as a result of the treatment.
Is there an age limit for EECP?
No. Patients as young as thirty and as old as ninety-five have successfully completed EECP® without any complications. Many of our patients are in their eighties and older and have excellent results.
Does a pacemaker exclude me from having EECP®?
No. Pacemakers and defibrillators do not interfere in any way with EECP® treatment.
If I have already had bypass surgery/angioplasty/stents, can I still have EECP®?
Yes. Most patients have had at least one of these procedures. They come for EECP® because they still experience cardiovascular symptoms.
Who cannot have EECP®?
There are very few patients who cannot have EECP®. The individuals who should not be treated include pregnant women, those with a severe aneurysm (thinned & bulging vessel walls) in their aorta requiring surgical repair, and patients with active blood clots in their legs.
Is EECP® approved by the FDA? Have there been extensive studies on the treatment?
EECP was FDA approved in 1995 for the treatment of coronary artery disease and angina, cardiogenic shock, and for use during a heart attack. In 2002, the FDA approved EECP as a treatment for congestive heart failure. EECP has undergone clinical trials at leading universities around the nation and been subject to over a hundred scientific studies published in the most prestigious medical journals throughout the world.
Does insurance pay for EECP®?
Yes. Medicare, Medicaid and all Private carriers support the use of EECP®.
Is there a difference between EECP® and ECP?
Yes. EECP® and ECP are significantly different. EECP® is a registered trademark of Vasomedical, Inc., the leading manufacturer of EECP® equipment in the U.S. Vasomedical has a patent on the timing mechanism, which determines the cuff inflation and deflation, and the cuff design — both specially designed to maximize augmentation — the most important part of the treatment. This timing mechanism makes the EECP® unit by far the most clinically effective device on the market, distinguishing it from other external counterpulsation (ECP) equipment. Every U.S. study that has been published in a peer-reviewed medical journal has used EECP exclusively. Accordingly, EECP®, — not ECP — machines are the ones found in every university hospital, major community hospital, and well-known practices that offers the treatment. Restoration Heart Care only performs EECP®, using only Vasomedical equipment.