A little over a year ago, the European Society of Cardiology gave enhanced external counterpulsation (EECP) a new classification recommending that physicians should consider this therapy for the treatment of angina and stable coronary artery disease. (The old guidelines merely indicated that they “may consider” EECP.) This is a huge deal because EECP is safe, noninvasive, and often leads to vast improvements in patient’s quality of life. But don’t expect your doctor to start recommending EECP any time soon.
Bypass and Angioplasty: The Cash Cows of Cardiology
Most physicians refuse to order EECP until their patients have tried and failed multiple medications, angioplasty and/or bypass, or are seriously ill with angina or heart failure. In my opinion, this is a purely economic decision.
The surgical approach, which requires a lengthy hospital stay, cardiac rehabilitation, and recovery period, can cost upwards of $100,000. For a fraction of that ($5,000–$7,000), you could get 35 treatments of EECP—a therapy that can be performed in a doctor’s office, completed in as little as three weeks, and deliver results within days.
So why the blatant shunning of this safe and economical therapy? EECP is an obvious threat to invasive cardiology’s bottom line.
EECP in a Nutshell
Developed at Harvard University more than 60 years ago, EECP is sometimes referred to as a “natural bypass” because it stimulates the formation of collateral circulation, or new blood vessels around clogged arteries. As a result, it effectively reduces angina and shortness of breath and improves exercise tolerance in patients with heart disease or heart failure. EECP also enhances arterial health and boosts circulation to organs and tissues throughout the body. Therefore, this therapy is extremely beneficial for patients with high blood pressure, neuropathy, peripheral vascular disease, Parkinson’s disease, diabetic complications, and a multitude of other conditions.
EECP is safe and has no side effects. It is done on an outpatient basis and requires no post-treatment recovery period. During a typical session, you lie on a bed wearing a series of adjustable cuffs around your calves and lower and upper thighs. As the cuffs are inflated in sequence, blood is pushed up from the lower limbs toward the heart. Then, just before the heart pumps, the cuffs deflate, reducing resistance and decreasing the heart’s workload. Each treatment lasts about an hour, during which you can read, listen to music, or simply relax.
A full EECP course requires 35 treatments. (Patients usually get two treatments per day so a course can be completed in a timely manner.) In just three weeks—and often sooner—energy, endurance, stamina, and ability to exercise improve greatly. Angina episodes become less frequent and intense, and nitroglycerin and other drugs are almost always reduced or discontinued.
Many patients who come to Whitaker Wellness enroll in our Back to Health Program to take advantage of EECP and our other innovative therapies. In addition to the healing benefits of these treatments, program participants receive in-depth educational lectures, gourmet healthy meals, a personalized nutritional supplement program, and one-on-one medical care.
To Learn More About EECP…
EECP is a godsend for patients with heart disease. To find out if EECP is right for you, fill out this form to receive a complimentary consultation with one of our Patient Services Representatives. You may also call (866) 632-8890 to learn how a course of EECP could benefit your health.