Let's talk about EECP or enhanced external counterpulsation, a big word. This is a treatment modality for chronic angina, patients who suffer from chest pain, refractory from medications or exhausted from procedures. If you're suffering from chest pain and can't tolerate medications anymore, there is another option. ECP involves coming to a center that performs the procedure. It entails laying down in a bed and having blood pressure cuffs administered on your arms and legs. These blood pressure cuffs are inflated and deflated in relation to your cardiac cycle or heartbeat. And they aim at improving blood flow to all your organs. By doing so you improve urine output, helps with weight loss and fluid retention, helps deliver blood to the heart, and helps regrow arteries where blood is insufficiently being delivered to the heart from coronary artery disease. Treatment usually takes about one to two hours and is often done five to seven days a week. After a certain amount of time, patients are either symptom-free or have a reduction in the severity and length of their symptoms. They're less dependent on medications and they have an improved quality of life. If you feel like the medications are not working, or you're not tolerating medications, if you're no longer a candidate for more invasive procedures, then ECP may be a treatment option for you. Discuss with your cardiologist if you would benefit from such a treatment.
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