Patients

Are you a candidate for EECP® therapy?

First, contact Island Heart Care and ask to speak with an EECP Therapist. The Therapist can perform a quick telephone screening to determine whether or not you are a potential candidate for EECP.

Next, the Therapist will conatct your physician to determine if you are a candidate. Your doctor may need to examine you and review your medical history further.

You may be a candidate if:
  • You have coronary artery disease, angina or heart failure
  • Your heart medications no longer relieve your angina or heart failure symptoms
  • You have had open-heart (bypass) surgery, a balloon angioplasty or stent, or other invasive procedures, and your symptoms have returned
  • You have been told you cannot have another bypass surgery, balloon angioplasty or stent, or other invasive procedures
  • You have chosen not to have any further surgery, angioplasties or invasive procedures

 

Frequently asked questions:

Q: What does EECP Stand for?

A: Enhanced External Counter Pulsation (EECP) describes what happens during the treatment.

  • "Enhanced" refers to the state of art technology that developed during decades of research and is used for EECP treatment today.
  • "External" means it happens outside the body and does not require surgery or other invasive procedure.
  • "Counter Pulsation" refers to occur between heart beats.

 

Q: What is Angina?

A: Angina is a signal from your heart muscle that it is not receiving enough blood and oxygen because the arteries that supply the heart muscle are blocked or narrowed. Angina, often called "chest pain", it can also go down the left arm, between the shoulder blades, or in the jaw. Some patients experience no symptoms even in when their heart is not receiving enough blodd flow/oxygen, This is called Silent Ischemia.

 

Q: What is Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)?

A: Heart failure means when the heart muscle becomes so weak it cannot pump enough blood to meet the demands of the rest of the body. There are two types of heart failure. The most common type is "ischemic". The heart muscle is damaged by a long-standing lack of sufficient blood and oxygen, or by heart attack. The other type is "non-ischemic" or "idiopathic". Some of the possible causes include a viral infection of the heart muscle, disease of the heart valves, high blood pressure, or the abuse of alcohol or drugs, or the cause may not be known. Heart failure symptoms include having trouble in breathing (shortness of breath) and feeling very tired after even a small amount of effort.

 

Q: What are the advantages of EECP® therapy?

A: EECP® therapy is not invasive, does not require a hospital stay, has no recovery period, and allows you to return to your routine each day after receiving treatment.

 

Q: What are the benefits of EECP® therapy?

A: 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 or heart failure symptoms
  • Enjoying a better quality of life
  • Having a more positive outlook

 

Q: Is EECP® treatment comfortable?

A: 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.

 

Q: How will I feel after the treatment?

A: 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.

 

Q: How long do the benefits of EECP® therapy last after a course of treatment?

A: 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 the first course (35 hours) of treatment. Other smaller studies have shown the benefits last up
to five years in some patients.

 

Q: When can I expect to feel improvement?

A: Each patient responds differently. many patients report feeling better almost immediately while other patients  report beginning to feel better about halfway through the seven weeks.

 

Q: Can I have therapy more than once?

A: Yes.Ifyoursymptomsreturn,yourdoctorwill decide if you need to repeat your EECP® treatments.

 

Q: What if I miss an appointment?

A: 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.

 

Q: Can I exercise during the weeks I’m receiving EECP® therapy?

A: Your doctor will discuss an exercise program, how and when you should begin, and how much you should do. Exercising can help you keep the benefits of your EECP® treatments.

 

Q: When can I resume sexual activity?

A: Like exercise, this is an important issue to discuss with your doctor.

 

Q: Can everyone have EECP® therapy?

A: Your doctor knows your medical history and condition and will determine if you can have EECP® therapy.

 

Q: What are the risks of EECP® therapy?

A: 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.

 

Q: Does insurance cover EECP® therapy?

A: Yes. Medicare covers EECP® treatments for the patients who meet the Medicare criteria. Most private insurance companies have coverage policies similar to Medicare.