Enhanced External Counterpulsation (EECP)

//Enhanced External Counterpulsation (EECP)

Enhanced External Counterpulsation (EECP)

When there is angina, you will have chest pain that feels like indigestion rather than a heart attack. There is a feeling of pressure or squeezing in your chest. You can also have a feeling of discomfort in your shoulders, arms, neck, jaw or back. It indicates that there is an underlying heart problem. If you don’t get relief from angina by other treatments, cardiologists will suggest you go for EECP. The blood vessels can make a way around your narrowed arteries for transfer of blood with the help of this procedure. It is a noninvasive treatment and a rather comfortable procedure. It has gained popularity as a heart treatment in Kolkata. A heart doctor uses several blood pressure cuffs on your legs in a firm yet gentle manner for compressing the blood vessels there. The purpose of this is to boost blood flow to your heart. The time of each wave is synchronized to your heartbeat. Therefore, when the heart is relaxing, more blood gets there. There is an instant release of pressure when your heart pumps again. As a result of this, blood is pumped more easily. Some small blood vessels in your heart may also open because of EECP and more blood flow will go to your heart muscle. You will get relief from your chest pain.

Eligible Candidates

The heart doctor suggests a patient should go for EECP if he/she:

  • Have chronic stable pain in the chest
  • Did not get relief from the use of nitrates, beta-blockers and calcium channel blockers
  • Is not eligible for bypass surgery, stenting, angioplasty and other invasive procedures


The persons who receive EECP get a lot of benefits like:

  • They have fewer symptoms
  • They have less need for anti-anginal medicine
  • They have the ability to be more active without symptoms

Before the treatment

You do not have to stay at the hospital for EECP as it is an outpatient procedure. A heart specialist doctor examines your medical history before the procedure of EECP and also sets you up for a complete physical evaluation. The doctor will also suggest an ECG (Electrocardiogram for you. You will have to take some medicines for stabilizing your health prior to an EECP. The doctor will give a detailed description of the total procedure.

The procedure

The heart doctor will link three electrodes with an electrocardiograph after placing them on your chest. The doctor can track your blood pressure and heart rhythm with the help of this process. During it, you will be lying on a comfortable table. The doctor will wrap your calves, thighs and buttocks in cuffs. You will feel a gentle pressure as the cuffs swell and shrink you. There is a synchronization of the entire process with your heartbeat. The full process for EECP takes 35 hours. The doctor splits the process into 5 days a week for 7 weeks. It is done for 1-2 hours each day.