External Counterpulsation

External Counterpulsation (ECP) is a safe and effective treatment to help those suffering from angina or chest pain. For patients who cannot or do not want to undergo bypass surgery or angioplasty, ECP is an alternative when medications are not enough for angina symptoms.

An outpatient procedure, ECP requires no surgery or anesthesia. During a session, the patient lies on a table with cuffs wrapped around his or her calves, lower thighs, upper thighs and buttocks. An air compressor inflates and deflates the cuffs gently, but firmly to constrict the blood vessels. One session lasts one to two hours, and patients typically undergo 35 sessions over several weeks.

With treatments, patients usually experience:

  • reduced chest pain
  • improved blood flow
  • reduced dependency on medications
  • increased levels of exercise
  • improved quality of life

Most patients will notice improvements after about a dozen sessions. Common side effects are mild headache, mild dizziness, muscle aches and fatigue. Most experience no major discomfort, complications or side effects.

For more information, please call 609.853.7880.