What is an ECP treatment?
ECP is a non-invasive and FDA approved procedure that may reduce the symptoms of chronic angina by stimulating the formation of small branches of blood vessels (collaterals), which circumvent the blocked arteries.
Counterpulsation occurs while the heart is resting (diastole). It is in during diastole that the CardiAssist tm system actually pumps, sending the blood back to the heart. Air is inflated into a series of cuffs placed on your calves, thighs and buttocks. The system compresses your lower extremities in sequence (like a wave) which increases blood flow back toward your heart. The inflation of these cuffs is timed to your heartbeat so the blood arrives at the precisely the time the heart relaxes. A fraction of a second before your heart beats again, the cuffs are instantaneously deflated, enabling the blood in your heart to be pumped (systole), with minimal resistance, into your now empty blood vessels. This decreases the amount of work your heart must perform.
It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3…
- ECP pumps, sending oxygenated blood to the heart during diastole (the heart is resting)
- ECP stops pumping just before the heart pumps, leaving the blood vessels open, empty and void of resistance.
- Over the treatment period your angina is reduced, or may even be eliminated.