Cardiac Therapy

Generic ECP Patient on BedCardiac Therapy is a nonsurgical treatment for cardiac patients that suffer from Angina and symptoms of Ischemic Coronary Artery Disease.  Cardiac Therapy is unique in that it is a low-risk treatment option where more than 80% of patients experience significant improvements in their cardiac health.  Cardiac Therapy is covered by Medicare & most private insurance companies so there is usually little or no cost to the patient.  This is a natural rehabilitation method (no medications, no complications) to alleviate lifestyle limitations from symptoms of Chest Pain, Shortness of Breath, & Fatigue upon varying degrees of physical activity.

The Mechanical Process of Cardiac Therapy

ecp processThe medical term for Cardiac Therapy is External Counterpulsation Therapy. Although a rather complicated term (hence simplified to Cardiac Therapy), it is easier to understand the meaning if you analyze the term word by word. “External” signifies outside the body, counter-pulsation means the process mechanically pulsates (inflates air) counter to the hearts natural beat.  In other words, the process inflates only while your heart is resting to mechanically assist the cardiac cycle by physically delivering (squeezing) blood back to the heart on each beat.

The procedure consist of one hour of treatment each day for a total of 35 daily treatments.  The most common protocol is to come in 3-5 days a week for a total of 7-8 weeks.  Think of this treatment as an exercise program only it requires no effort on the part of the patient.  The treatment is completely automated by the treatment device.  All you need to do is show up for treatment consistently and you have an 80% chance of experiencing significant benefit.  The treatment is quite tolerable as most patients watch TV or sleep during each 1 hour treatment.

Why Cardiac Therapy is Effective Treatment for Angina

As heart disease progresses with age, your heart is forced to work much harder to deliver nutrient rich blood throughout the vascular system.  You vessels with begin to harden, narrow and your heart muscle becomes weaker due to a reduction in physical exercise. Over time, this burden begins to affect the performance of your heart because regions of the heart muscle are slowly restricting (or blocking) access to necessary blood flow. This deficiency (or restricted blood flow) not only affects the heart, but also other organs of the body such as the brain, kidneys, lungs, and other ailments of the extremities.  Your body naturally copes with this lack of blood flow by growing tiny blood vessels (collateral vessels) to the starved areas. The challenge is not that these collateral vessels do not exist, but that they are dormant or closed due to a lack of force (weak heart & lack of exercise) to open the pathway for blood flow.

collateral circulationCardiac Therapy is proven in hundreds of clinical trials to stimulate “collaterization” or development of these small blood vessels in the coronary arteries.  By squeezing (returning) blood back to the heart with such great force, it develops or opens up these pathways to restore oxygenated blood flow around narrowed & blocked arteries. 

This restoration of oxygen-rich blood flow has remarkable benefits the heart and other organs of the body.  Patients experience significant reduction in symptoms as wells as major improvements in cardiac performance.

Click Here to read about the Patient Benefits of Cardiac Therapy.