Enhanced external counterpulsation (EECP) therapy is a procedure that uses blood pressure cuffs on your legs to treat angina (chest pain).
EECP therapy may be used if you still have chest pain after treatment with medicine, bypass surgery, or angioplasty.
The procedure may not help if you have:
How EECP works is not well understood. It is thought that EECP forces slightly more blood into the blood vessels supplying the heart. Over time, this causes more blood vessels to grow in the heart muscle. Because angina is caused by the heart muscle not getting enough blood, growth of more blood vessels helps relieve angina.
Blood pressure cuffs are put on your legs. They are then inflated and deflated. The sequence of the inflation and deflation is timed with the beating of your heart.
You lie on a table with a blood pressure cuff wrapped around each calf. Two cuffs are placed around each thigh. The cuffs are connected to a device that inflates and deflates the cuffs, starting with the calf and moving up to the thigh, with each heartbeat. The procedure should not be painful.
Most people are treated for 1 hour a day, 5 days a week, for 7 weeks, but your healthcare provider may follow a different schedule.
You may have less chest pain for many months or several years after EECP treatment.
There are few side effects or complications. You might have some irritation or bruising of the skin.