Therapy offers new hope for chronic chest pain
A one-year old Mayo Clinic outpatient treatment program reports success in treating patients with chronic angina who are not candidates for bypass surgery or balloon angioplasty. Treatment in the EECP program consists of 35 one-hour sessions over the course of seven weeks on a Monday through Friday regimen.
During therapy, the patient lies on a bed and pressure cuffs are attached to the calves, lower thighs and upper thighs. The patient’s heart rate and rhythm are constantly measured during the process. The cuffs inflate and deflate, gradually building to full pressure while the machine works with the heart’s rhythms.
Most of the 21 patients who have received enhanced external counterpulsation (EECP) treatment in the past year report improved exercise tolerance and better lifestyles following the treatment. In the past, there were few therapeutic options for such patients, at least in North America. EECP has been used internationally as a treatment for angina for two decades