Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Enhanced External Counterpulsation (EECP) for Heart Problems

Font Size

Topic Overview

Enhanced external counterpulsation (EECP) might be used to treat someone who has ongoing chest pain (chronic angina) who does not qualify for other treatment methods, such as angioplasty or surgery. Also, it is sometimes used to treat heart failure. EECP is used at some large medical centers, but it is not widely available.

During EECP, pressure cuffs (like large blood pressure cuffs) inflate and deflate around your calves, thighs, and buttocks. The cuffs squeeze the blood from your lower body toward your heart. In turn, this increases the amount of blood and oxygen going into your coronary arteries and decreases pain from angina. Meanwhile, your blood pressure and heart rhythm are closely monitored. Usually, you will receive this treatment for 1 to 2 hours a day, 5 days a week, for 7 weeks.

Recommended Related to Heart Disease

Endocarditis, Infective

Important It is possible that the main title of the report Endocarditis, Infective is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.

Read the Endocarditis, Infective article > >

Although it has not been proved, EECP may encourage the development of collateral blood vessels. These small blood vessels can create new channels for blood to bypass narrowed or blocked arteries.

But EECP has some drawbacks. Many people are not candidates, and the treatment can be time-consuming and uncomfortable.

1

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: August 09, 2010
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Enhanced External Counterpulsation (EECP) for Heart Problems Topics

Hot Topics

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

WebMD Video: Now Playing

Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

tea
What you should eat.
Woman sitting in front of UV lights
Is yours working?
woman using breath spray
What's causing yours?
colon xray
Get the facts.
MS Overview
Recognizing symptoms.
bowl of yogurt with heart shape
Eat for a healthy heart.
woman doing pushups
To help you get fit.
Colored x-ray of tooth decay
Know what to look for.
Woman sitting with child
Do you know the symptoms?
fruit drinks
Foods that can help you focus.
Sad dog and guacamole
Don't feed this to your dog.
Thyroid exam
See how much you know.

Women's Health Newsletter

Find out what women really need.