Q: Why haven’t I heard about this treatment before?
A: It is known in the medical community, and many prestigious institutions offer it, but is considered “alternative medicine” by many and is recommended as a last resort rather than a preventative, health producing treatment.
Q: Is there a difference between EECP and ECP?
Yes. EECP is a registered trademark of Vasomedical, Inc., the leading manufacturer of EECP equipment in the U.S. Vasomedical has a patent on the timing mechanism of the machine (when the cuffs squeeze and release in time to the patient’s EKG, the most critical part of the treatment). This timing mechanism distinguishes them from those who make other external counterpulsation (ECP) equipment, and makes the EECP machine by far the most clinically effective device on the market. Every published U.S. study and most studies originating in countries around the world and published in the leading English-language medical journals have used the Vasomedical EECP equipment exclusively.
Q: What is the equipment of EECP consisting of?
A. The EECP equipment consists of:
Q: Is there an age limit for EECP ?
A: No. We have successfully treated patients as young as 35 and as old as 86 without any difficulties. Many of our patients are in their 80s and complete the entire EECP program with excellent results.
Q: Can EECP dislodge plaque and cause a stroke or heart attack?
A: No. Atherosclerotic plaques are calcified and hard, and they create an obstruction that detours the blood through alternate routes of least resistance. During EECP , when blood is flowing to your heart, it will naturally bypass arteries with significant plaque and enter healthy, non-diseased blood vessels to go around the blockages. In time, these new pathways are reinforced and become lasting routes for blood to reach your heart beyond the blockages. This is why EECP is often called the “natural bypass.”
Q: Besides angina, does EECP have been useful for other non-cardiac conditions?
A: In our experience, EECP has been useful for other non-cardiac conditions such as erectile dysfunction, renal failure with fluid retention refractory to diuretics, and obesity associated with fluid retention as well.
At the present, it has been described that EECP has a therapeutic role in the treatment of restless leg syndrome, hepatorenal syndrome, erectile dysfunction, syndrome X, and retinal artery occlusion.
Q: Why is EECP an underutilized therapy in patients with refractory AP?
A: Most practicing cardiologists today don’t have hands-on experience with this modality. Many of the university medical centers who train cardiology fellows don’t have an EECP program. There are some logistic problems involved as well. For example, if you live in Anaheim and there is an EECP program at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, you will spend about 2-4 hours in going back and forth to this Medical Center for one hour of therapy every day for 35 days.
Lack of exposure to EECP, and the interrupted follow-up of these patients with refractory angina pectoris miss the opportunity to see how much difference EECP can make in the symptoms and quality of life of these patients. In addition, there is not a genuine interest by the academia and/or industry to support new randomized clinical trials. Finally, to make things worse, there are cardiologists who would like to see “a more solid clinical data” to continue practicing “evidence-based medicine.”
The fact remains that you can’t argue with patients getting better and improving the quality of their lives with EECP therapy -as shown in the testimonials.
Q: What are the advantages of EECP® Therapy?
A: EECP® Therapy is not invasive, does not require a hospital stay, has no recovery period, and allows you to return to your routine each day after receiving treatment.
Q: Is EECP® Therapy a Safe Option for Me?
A: Yes, it’s completely non-invasive, thereby reducing the risk of complications associated with surgery. Complications as a result of treatment are typically minor and rare when compared to other treatments. Most people tolerate EECP® Therapy with no major discomfort, side effects or complications. Typical side effects include fatigue or muscle aches. A small number of people develop pressure sores, skin irritation or bruising from the cuff inflation.
Q: What are the benefits of EECP® Therapy?
A: Most patients experience positive results, such as the following: Having no angina or angina that is less frequent and less intense Having more energy Being able to take part in more activities of daily living with little or no angina or heart failure symptoms Enjoying a better quality of life Having a more positive outlook.
Q: Is EECP® Therapy comfortable?
A: There is a feeling of pressure from the cuffs around your legs and buttocks. Once you become accustomed to this pressure, the sessions usually pass comfortably.
Q: How will I feel after the treatment?
A: EECP therapy is often described as being like “passive exercise,” so you may feel tired after the first few days of treatment. This is normal, especially if you haven’t been exercising. Usually, once this short “training period” is over, you will begin to notice that you have more energy.
Q: How long do the benefits of EECP® Therapy last after a course of treatment?
A: The International EECP Patient Registry (IEPR) collects data on the safety, effectiveness, and long-term benefits of EECP therapy. The IEPR data have shown that benefits of EECP therapy can last up to three years after completing a full course (35 hours) of treatment. Other smaller studies have shown the benefits last up to five years in some patients.
Q: When can I expect to feel improvement?
A: Each patient responds differently. Most patients report beginning to feel better about halfway through the seven weeks.
Q: Can I have therapy more than once?
A: Yes. If your symptoms return, your doctor will decide if you need to repeat your EECP treatments.
Q: What are the risks of EECP® Therapy?
A: Occasionally, patients develop mild skin irritation in the areas under the treatment cuffs or experience muscle or joint discomfort. Some patients feel tired after the first few treatments but this usually ends after the first week. Rarely, patients develop shortness of breath requiring hospitalization and treatment. Your EECP therapist is trained to make your treatments safe and to minimize risk.
Q: Does insurance cover EECP® Therapy?
A: Medicare covers EECP treatments for the patients who meet the Medicare criteria. Most private insurance companies have coverage policies similar to Medicare. Unfortunately, the criteria are difficult to meet for many patients.
We don’t offer insurance options in order to keep the cost of your therapy affordable. Many clients have submitted their claims directly to their insurance and have gotten paid if they are persistent. We are not willing or able to assist you with insurance claims as that is a relationship between you and your insurance provider. However, if you look at the benefit you get for the investment vs any other option we think you will agree that EECP is the best answer to your health problems.