You have heard about cardiovascular disease, read about its therapies but need to know more. There are huge numbers of heart patients who have been on medications since long and have worn out with the ordinary therapies and treatments. Enhanced external counter pulsation therapy is the modern and most advance, non-invasive and outpatient therapy for such patients.
Snapshot of EECP Heart Therapy–
EECP triggers heart muscles externally and open many new blood vessels which facilitate standard blood flow in heart. Three set of cuffs are wrapped around lower thighs, upper thighs and calves. These cuffs are attached with an air hoses and an electrocardiogram that regulates the cuffs along with the cardiac cycle. Cuffs inflate during diastole and deflate during systole. Periodic inflation and deflation of cuffs generates external pressure and increases the blood flow into the heart.
Let’s get into more detail and find out strength, weakness, opportunities and threats of EECP therapy –
Strength of EECP Therapy –
· It is a non-invasive therapy thus reduces the risk linked with surgery and don’t necessitate any hospital stay, patient can be relieved just after the therapy on the same day.
· Angina (chest pain) is cured up to great extent.
· As heart muscles start getting oxygenated blood after EECP therapy, reduction in the level of fatigue is noticed.
· Improvement in the shortness of breath.
· Can tolerate more exercise and day to day activity as compared to earlier.
· It is cheaper as compared to open heart or bypass surgery. Total cost of the therapy is only Rs. 95000.
Weakness of EECP Therapy –
· EECP therapy is directed on outpatient basis and do not provide any post treatment recovery as it is done in open heart or bypass surgery.
· Length of the therapy may be a problem for some patient because it takes 36 days and patients are required to visit daily for one hour treatment. For some patients time duration could be even more.
Opportunities of EECP Therapy –
· Firstly, EECP constricts the lower limbs and increases blood pressure in the heart. Cuffs are monitored according to the heart waves shown in the electrocardiogram which increases the blood flow into the heart.
· Secondly, EECP creates many small natural blood vessels due to continuous external pressure on the heart, these blood vessels act as natural bypass to supply blood to the heart.
· Scope of such an effective treatment is increasing rapidly growing in India and abroad. Nearly 200 hospitals offer EECP treatment in India till date.
Threats of EECP Therapy –
Although threats are very less noticed but still few of them are listed below –
· It lasts mainly for three to five years only so patient has to undergo EECP again once its effects are over and done.
· Sometimes, skin irritation is seen in patients under the areas of pressure cuffs.
· Some patients feel extra fatigue in the initial hours of treatment but recover soon with the later sessions. But, often feel comfortable with the passage of time.
Moreover, threats and weaknesses are very less observed as compared to the strengths and opportunities in EECP Therapy. Therefore, if you are planning to undergo EECP therapy you can feel free to opt it as it is a safe therapy for deadly heart disease.
The author is a medical consultant who has been associated with the Avoidbypass Surgery for a considerable period of time