Angioplasty and bypass surgery are the two prime options given to the patient when heart blockages are detected in one or all the three major arteries of the heart. Patient has complaints of chest pain (angina) breathlessness on walking heaviness in chest etc. EECP is a non-invasive treatment which can be offered as an alternative to angioplasty and alternative to bypass surgery.
What happens in EECP can be understood only when patient knows what happens in treatment like angioplasty and bypass surgery. In angioplasty a stent in inserted in the blocked artery. In bypass surgery a small part of a blood vessel is taken from either hand or leg and a bypass route is created for blood to flow in the area affected by the blocked artery. The blockage remains the same, just an alternative route is created for blood supply to resume in affected region of the heart.
EECP is a non-invasive procedure. It’s an hour long procedure and treatment duration is 35 sessions of EECP. The treatment is conducted by applying three electrodes through which the ECG is read on the EECP machine. Accordingly to the patient’s heart beat three cuff tied to patients leg inflate and deflate in diastole (relaxation) and systole ( contraction ) of the heart respectively. EECP benefits patient complaints by activating the collateral circulation i.e. small arteries and establishing myocardial blood flow. So if there is blockage in the left side of the heart, blood supply will be maintained from the right side through collateral circulation.
The major reasons why EECP should be considered as an alternative to bypass surgery and angioplasty is because it is non-invasive, safe, no hospitalization is required and is cost effective as compared to angioplasty and bypass surgery.