What are the benefits of EECP over the conventional angioplasty or bypass surgery.

For people who mourn from angina and have blockages in the heart, a traditional way to treat the disease is to offer angioplasty to widen the narrowed blood vessels and enhance blood flow and circulation or bypass surgery. However, there could be people who might be unfit to undergo an angioplasty-like people who have obstructions in arteries that run the entire length of the artery and are laden with fatty plaques. 


In these types of arteries opening up of a short piece through angioplasty is inefficient. Even if it is tried, the recurrence paces are very high. Also, for somebody with repeated methods, the recurrence chances keep increasing with every procedure. An alternative like EECP or enhanced external counterpulsation is suggested for such people.


Here Dr. Rakesh Kathiriya, Senior Doctor and Managing Director of Saaral Heart Center discuss the advantages of EECP over angioplasty and bypass surgery.


The benefits


The proven benefits of EECP therapy are that the individual with angina has a significant decrease in angina frequency (episodes of chest pain, shortness of breath, etc.) which promises a more acceptable quality of life, the evidence of which is a sustainable exercise time on the stress test. These effects are identical to those expected after angioplasty. 


But there is no evidence that angioplasty can reduce heart attacks or improve life expectancy in people suffering from stable ischemic heart disease (where the heart's arteries are damaged). The only dissimilarity may be that angioplasty takes hr to 1 hr and effects show early, whereas EECP, on the other hand, takes three to six weeks to complete, and the effects are slow. One of the latest studies showed no significant benefits after angioplasty compared to medical therapy.


The side-effects

If people for the procedure are selected correctly, there are almost no side effects of EECP. People with significant leakage of the aortic valve, PDA, leg vein clotting, and leg ulcers should not be taken up for therapy. High BP and leg bump due to heart failure should be sufficiently controlled before treatment. Some people with pale skin can experience mild bruises on their legs. As EECP therapy stimulates lower limb muscles, some people who are untrained for exercise may experience leg cramps for a few days.



EECP therapy can be provided to people irrespective of age, sex, and gender. However, the force of the cuffs may have to be modified according to personal tolerance levels.



The treatment of EECP is outdoor and does not require admission to the hospital. It requires 35 sessions of one-hour per. The therapy may be done a maximum of 2 times a day at an interval of 2-3 hrs. This way, the entire treatment stays for 3 (twice daily) or 6 (once daily) weeks.


Cost involved

The treatment costs one lakh fifteen thousand, including 35 sessions and all interim evaluations. This is still too high for the price of angioplasty or bypass surgery.


What to expect

The most significant truth of ischemic heart disease (where the heart's blood vessels are damaged) is that it is ultimately a 'lifestyle disease', i.e., a product of a faulty lifestyle. Angioplasty, bypass surgery, or even EECP are temporary arrangements to improve circulation to heart muscle supplied by the obstructed artery. The art of long-term sustenance of benefits and clear arteries lies in maintaining regular exercise, diet control, and control of BP, diabetes, and cholesterol through appropriate medications, and tobacco cessation.


what is eecp treatment

Introduced in 1960, purpose of EECP treatment is to increase the amount of blood going back to the heart, providing more blood for the heart to work with. US FDA and NHS-UK cleared EECP Treatment for patients suffering from Heart disease. Since then Thousands of installations are done Worldwide.

what is ecp treatment

External counterpulsation therapy is a procedure that may be performed on individuals with angina, heart failure, or cardiomyopathy