Friday, January 21, 2011

Putting The Squeeze on Heart Disease

Enhanced External Counterpulsation, or EECP, is a non-invasive therapy that literally shakes up heart disease.
A person lies on a bed with a series of inflatable cuffs placed around his or her legs. The cuffs are attached to a computer which in turn is linked to electrodes that monitor the heartbeat. The cuffs are sequentially inflated & deflated between each heartbeat, driving blood into the heart during its resting phases.

EECP is a non-surgical treatment option for individuals who experience symptoms from cardiovascular disease. It helps increase the flow of blood to the heart. EECP is FDA approved, covered by Medicare and clinical studies have shown 85% of patients treated with EECP® experience a reduction in angina and are able to return to a more active lifestyle.

EECP eliminates chest pain by inflating and deflating pneumatic cuffs that are placed on the legs up to the buttocks. Inflation and deflation is timed by a compuer off your heart rate, to increase the amount of blood flow back to the heart. The increased oxygen supplied by the new blood flow provides additional nourishment to the heart muscle thereby diminishing cardiac symptoms.
As the legs are squeezed, blood flow is increased as it is pumped back to the heart. The contractions are timed to the patient's heartbeat. The treatment helps people with debilitating heart disease symptoms to get moving again. Enhanced External Counterpulsation, EECP, is a non-invasive therapy that literally puts the squeeze on heart disease.

"We're exercising the circulation by getting more and more blood to flow through your blood vessels," says Legacy Heart Care Director Michael Gratch. "They become more mature, they develop, and it's been shown in scientific studies to actually grow and develop more blood vessels -- restoring normal blood flow to the heart."

Although the therapy is not a cure for heart disease, improved blood flow relieves debilitating symptoms. EECP is not a replacement for other proven therapies for heart disease. Heart patients still get the usual treatments and advice about lifestyle changes. But these more traditional ways are being used in concert with EECP.

Medicare, but not all private insurers cover the procedure. Legacy Heart Care is located in Fort Worth, TX.


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