External Counter Pulsation Therapy is a non-invasive procedure to reduce the symptoms of angina pectoris. The process helps stimulate the growth of new blood vessels in the areas of the heart, which may lack blood flow. It also supports in improving the flow of existing blood vessels.
Patients with severe angina or patients who are not the right candidates for bypass surgery or angioplasty are benefitted from external counter pulsation therapy. It is also pertinent to mention that patients with a history of congestive heart failure are also good candidates for the treatment. The process may be used in addition to angioplasty and bypass surgery for enhancing the benefits of these procedures.
What’s External Counter Pulsation Therapy (ECP)?
This is a non-invasive procedure to reduce the symptoms of angina pectoris. The process helps stimulate the growth of new blood vessels in the areas of the heart, which may lack blood flow. It also supports in improving the flow of existing blood vessels.
During the procedure you will be lying on a bed. You will be wearing a few pressure cuffs around the areas such as your calves, upper thighs and lower thighs. The External Counter Pulsation system will slowly inflate and deflate the series of cuffs and will help flow the blood from your lower thighs, upper thighs and calves toward the heart.
Simply put; the cuffs are designed to inflate and deflate on the basis of the heart rhythm (electrocardiogram – EKG) result. It occurs in complete synchronization. At the first step the calf cuffs inflate. It is then followed by the lower thigh cuffs and then it ends with the upper thigh cuffs. Almost as an obvious next step, the cuffs deflate as soon as the heart starts another beat. The process helps the heart to receive extra oxygen enriched blood.
How to get prepared for External Counter Pulsation Treatment?
Get the facts aligned; no preparation is needed to get External Counter Pulsation Treatment. In most of the cases the process is typically done on outpatient basis. It is recommended that patients wear tight-fitting clothes to prevent irritation. Patients should also follow exercise instructions and medication as directed by the physician.
Some relevant steps such as nursing assessment, stress test and orientation to the equipment and procedure should be done before beginning the ECP treatment.
Nursing assessment: Your nursing assessment should include a detail review of medical history, and it should clear the individual for treatment. In this period of nursing assessment the patient is given an angina diary to the severity, frequency and the duration of chest pain. At this point of time the patient will also receive comprehensive information about the treatment
Stress test: Patient is also required to complete a stress test before beginning the treatment. This further helps in assessing their exercise capacity and in providing the clearance to start the treatment. It will also help to figure out the frequency, severity and duration of chest pain when exercising.
Orientation: This has been designed to give the patient the feel of what exactly the treatments will be like. Orientation includes the orientation to the room, explanation of the treatment, education of the treatment session and process.
Who are not the good candidates to receive External Counter Pulsation Treatment?
Yes; there are a number of situations and specific conditions that may prevent people from receiving this treatment. Patients with deep vein thrombosis, elevated heart rate, high blood pressure, and Heart valve disease, blood clotting problem, pacemakers, pregnancy and patients with altered heart rhythm are NOT good candidates for this treatment.
Is the treatment process uncomfortable?
The External Counter Pulsation Therapy sessions are absolutely painless.
What are the benefits that you may experience from this therapy?
The benefits for patients include:
- Reduction in chest pain
- Decrease in the use of medicines
- Patient will be able to enjoy active and mobile lifestyle
It is important to mention here, not everyone suffering from angina pain will experience the same benefits and same level of improvement.
Talk to our professionals if you would like to learn more about External Counter Pulsation Therapy in Orange County