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
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.