External Counter Pulsation (ECP) Therapy

ECP Therapy is a clinically proven, non-invasive treatment option available to patients with angina or Congestive Heart Failure (CHF). It is primarily used in patients that have been unresponsive to other therapies, in order to relieve discomfort and improve quality of life.

ECP therapy improves the circulation to the heart muscle, increasing oxygen-rich blood flow to the heart and reducing the heart’s workload. It can help to build new pathways around the blocked arteries in the heart by expanding networks of tiny collateral blood vessels that facilitate blood flow to the heart muscle.

Complementing the expert clinicians is the comprehensive care we offer during the treatment of the patients for their complete recovery.

It is a simple and comfortable procedure. The patient relaxes on a comfortably padded mattress while a trained nurse or therapist wraps the muscular areas of the patient’s calves, thighs and buttocks with pneumatic cuffs, similar to blood pressure cuffs. Hoses connect the cuffs to an air pressure/vacuum pump enclosed within the bed base.

The patient will feel the sensation of a strong hug moving upward from the calves to the thighs to the buttocks as the cuffs inflate and deflate. Each cycle is electronically synchronised with individual heart-beats. The patient can relax and talk to visitors, watch TV, listen to music and radio or even take a nap during the hour long procedure.

A typical course of treatment requires 35 one-hour sessions administered once daily, five/six days a week. Many patients report improvement after as many as 10 treatment sessions.
  • Cuffs inflate rapidly from the calves towards the thighs, initiating pulse wave.
  • Cuffs inflation continues, forcing fresh oxygenated blood towards the coronary arteries.
  • Inflation around upper thighs sends higher volume of blood to the heart as pressure increases.
  • Heart prepares for ventricular contraction; computer instructs the deflation of valves.
  • Rapid release of pressure as the cuffs deflates, facilitates cardiac unloading.

It has proved successful in over 80% of patients treated with significant improvement in relief of angina, increased endurance and reduced dependence on medication. It has been shown to reduce or eliminate the frequency and intensity of angina, ultimately allowing patients to experience an improved quality of life and increased tolerance.

It has been clinically proven to be safe and effective. One should consult the physician to check whether he/she requires this heart treatment, as well as any risk or complication factors.

For appointments or more information please contact the Non-Invasive Cardiac Department at 022 4269 6815.