Is EECP an Effective Alternative to Bypass Surgery?

non surgical alternative treatmnet to angioplasty bypass surgery

Enhanced External Counter pulsation (EECP) is an effective alternative to bypass surgery. Many studies have shown the numerous benefits of EECP for patients with angina and other heart conditions that cause severe chest pain and shortness of breath. When you are diagnosed with one or many blocked arteries (which are responsible for carrying blood back and forth between your heart and the vital organs), your cardiologist will most likely recommend a bypass surgery or coronary angioplasty, in which they place a stent in your heart to restore the blood flow. 

While these may seem effective options, these invasive medical procedures come with their share of risks. That’s where EECP comes to your rescue. For patients who are too old to be considered for bypass surgery or those with a medical history that doesn’t make them eligible for an invasive procedure, EECP is a good alternative. It is a non-invasive treatment for angina and heart problems that might cause chest pain. The treatment is performed in an outpatient setting and is comparatively much safer than other invasive alternatives.

How is EECP Different from Bypass Surgery?

You must already be familiar with bypass surgery. It is an open-heart surgery where the healthy blood vessels from other parts of your body, such as legs and arms, are removed and placed below and above the blocked arteries in your chest to redirect blood flow to the heart. The procedure involves a risk of infection, irregular heart rhythm, stroke, and a heart attack (in rare cases). In the EECP treatment, you lie on a table with blood pressure cuffs wrapped around both legs and the buttocks. These are inflated and deflated following your heartbeats. These cuffs regulate blood flow and ensure proper blood and oxygen supply to your heart. As you lie on bed, these cuffs deflate and inflate constantly in such a way that the results are synced with the ECG (Electrocardiogram). 

Benefits of EECP Therapy

EECP is a safe and risk-free treatment for patients with chest pain due to angina or blocked arteries. Here are a few reasons why EECP treatment is considered a better alternative to the invasive procedures.

  • It is risk-free. As there are no incisions made, the procedure prevents the risk of bleeding or infection.
  • It is cost-effective
  • Faster recovery due to fewer complications
  • It reduces the pain from angina or other medical conditions
  • The patient gets to return to normal lifestyle soon after the procedure

These are only to name a few. EECP therapy is a much more effective and safe option than the traditional bypass surgeries. It is a 35-hour session that’s completed in a 5 day course. After the completion of the therapy, the patient will experience a quick relief that lasts up to three years. Although EECP may not fix blocked arteries, it has shown to be very effective for patients with angina pain. It  ensures proper blood circulation to your heart and the rest of the organs, thus reducing the pain from angina and other heart diseases.


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