Advanced Heart & Vascular Specialists -  - Cardiology

Advanced Heart & Vascular Specialists

Cardiology & Vascular Specialists located in Las Vegas, NV

Enhanced external counterpulsation is an outpatient procedure that helps relieve angina pain that doesn’t respond to medication. The experienced cardiologists at Advanced Heart & Vascular Specialists perform enhanced external counterpulsation in the comfort of the office, providing an intensive series of procedures that boosts blood flow to your heart, relieves chest pain, and often reduces your reliance on medication. If you have angina pain despite treatment, and you’d like to learn more about enhanced external counterpulsation, call the office in Las Vegas or book an appointment online.

Enhanced External Counterpulsation (EECP) Q & A

What is enhanced external counterpulsation?

Enhanced external counterpulsation (EECP) is a treatment for patients with angina or chest pain that doesn’t improve with traditional therapies. You may qualify for EECP if you:

  • Suffer from chronic stable angina
  • Have pain despite taking nitrates
  • Don’t qualify for invasive procedures such as angioplasty, stenting, or bypass surgery

The chest pain associated with angina occurs when blockages in your coronary arteries restrict the blood supply to your heart. Chronic stable angina is a type of angina that’s triggered by exercise or emotional stress.

How does enhanced external counterpulsation work?

EECP uses gentle but firm pressure on your legs and buttocks to increase blood flow to your heart. Boosting blood flow may encourage new vessels to develop. Over time, the new blood vessels naturally bypass the blocked coronary artery and maintain better blood flow. As blood flow improves, angina symptoms are diminished.

What should I expect during my EECP procedure?

When you come in for your EECP treatment, you’ll lie down on a table while the team at Advanced Heart & Vascular Specialists applies electrodes to your chest. The electrodes are attached to an electrocardiograph (EKG) machine that tracks your heart’s electrical activity. The team also monitors your blood pressure throughout the procedure.

Your doctor wraps specialized cuffs around your calves, thighs, and buttocks. The cuffs are attached to air hoses, which are connected to valves that open and close to let air flow in and out of the cuffs.

During your treatment, the cuffs are rapidly inflated and deflated, creating pressure on your legs and buttocks that’s electronically synchronized with your heartbeat. The cuffs sequentially tighten at the precise moment your heart muscles relax, creating pressure on blood vessels that increases blood flow into your heart.

As soon as the heart muscles start the next contraction, air in the cuffs is instantaneously released. As the cuffs quickly deflate, the pressure on your legs and buttocks decreases, which lowers the resistance and makes it easier for cardiac muscles to pump more blood out of your heart. The overall result is increased blood flow into and out of your heart.

Most patients who are accepted for EECP treatment receive about 35 hours of therapy. For instance, you might be treated for an hour a day on weekdays for seven weeks, or whatever schedule is determined to be best for you by the cardiology team.

If you suffer from angina that doesn’t get better with medication, call Advanced Heart & Vascular Specialists or book an appointment online to learn whether you’re a good candidate for EECP.