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Enhanced External Counterpulsation (EECP)

The History of EECP

Invented in Boston in the late 1960s, EECP was effective in treating cardiogenic shock, or severe heart failure due to heart muscle damage, a condition that was otherwise almost uniformly fatal. The technique however was cumbersome, and fell out of favor while more intricate and expensive procedures such as cardiac bypass surgery came into use. Researchers in mainland China during the 1980s improved the technology and effectively treated patients with heart disease and stroke.

In 1990 a brilliant physiologist named Dr. John Hui brought the technology back into the United States, and persuaded physicians at Stony Brook Hospital in New York to begin research. EECP proved so effective in reducing angina symptoms that the FDA approved it for the treatment of stable angina and many insurance including Medicare now reimburse for treatment.

Today, EECP is also approved by the FDA to treat congestive heart failure, which is responsible for the highest number of hospitalizations in our country.

How It Works

EECP is completely noninvasive and requires no anesthesia or recovery time. A set of inflatable cuffs is placed around the legs and pelvis. The cuffs are sequentially inflated from the bottom up, under high pressure. This causes the arteries and veins in the lower extremities to collapse and forces the blood upwards toward the heart. A wave of pressure then proceeds into the heart and into the coronary arteries. The result is a significant increase in cardiac blood flow. After a series of treatments, usually 35, 1-hour in length, collateral blood vessels develop around the heart, creating a natural bypass around the occluded vessels. The response rate for patients suffering from angina is around 80 percent, with none of the risks of open-heart surgery or angioplasty.

Figure showing the action of EECP cuff inflation during treatment

People who complete a series of EECP treatments often have fewer episodes of angina, reduce or eliminate their need for anti-angina medications, have greater exercise tolerance and improved endurance and have a greatly improved overall quality of life.

What Does It Feel Like?

EECP treatment is similar having a set of giant blood pressure cuffs on your legs. Since the cuffs are inflated and deflated in time to your heart beat, some patients compare treatment to a rhythmic massage. Most patients listen to music read a book or even take a relaxing nap while receiving EECP treatments. Many feel alert, rested and energetic after their treatment is over.

EECP for other Medical Conditions

Because it boosts circulation throughout the body, external counterpulsation is a general panacea. It is perhaps the most potent antiaging therapy. It should be considered in any program to support individual well-being.

There are numerous other benefits, since having counterpulsation is like adding a second heart to the body. Increased blood flow occurs in the brain, kidneys, intestines, and all other parts of the body. Complex hormonal interactions are stimulated, resulting in improved kidney function, lowering of blood pressure, increased energy, endurance, and sense of well-being. Patients with stroke have experienced much quicker improvement than would otherwise occur.

Medications used for treating chest pain as well as high blood pressure may be reduced and sometimes completely eliminated. EECP is also effective in boosting athletic performance, providing a complete, passive cardiovascular workout, reducing lactic acid buildup and increasing blood and lymph flow in muscles.

Investigate EECP for improvement in any of the following area:

1. Cardiac chest pain
2. Congestive heart failure
3. High blood pressure
4. Cardiomyopathy
5. Peripheral neuropathy, especially from diabetes
6. Stroke
7. Peripheral vascular disease
8. Impotence
9. Edema, or venous insufficiency
10. Chronic fatigue
11. Intestinal vascular insufficiency
12. Improvement of Athletic Performance

Patient Testimonials

We have treated several hundred patients using EECP, and have seen remarkable improvements in many of them. Patients who would not or could not consider angioplasty or bypass surgery, or had already failed these treatments, are able to improve using counterpulsation therapy.
If you are interested in EECP therapy for yourself a friend or family member, please make an appointment to receive a free trial treatment!

Dear Dr. Sosin,
This letter is a short report of my experience with EECP treatment at your center. Aside from the fact that it was simple, it was pleasant and was of great benefit to me. I felt a definite shift in my well-being after my third treatment. There was an increase in my energy and most noticeable of all, an increase in my leg strength. Whereas I had to use a handrail to assist me in climbing even a short flight of stairs, it was no longer necessary. I could climb up the middle of a stairway. The following list is where I have received benefits:

- more energy
- more leg strength
- increased mental acuity
- easier breathing
- seem to have better circulation

I also have to report the result of an appointment with the electrocardiophysiologist who implanted my pacemaker/defibrillator unit. He was so pleased with my increased heart strength that he regulated the unit down to 60 beats per minute. He said that my heart was now able to do more of the needed work, which in turn made me notice an increase in feeling well. In closing, I would not hesitate to recommend the EECP treatments to anyone. I also without hesitation recommend you, your staff and your clinic.

I have had thirty five treatments of EECP that has been beneficial to the quality of my life. Before the therapy, I could walk around for about five minutes. Since completing EECP, I can walk around for approximately an hour before resting. Six years ago, I had a stroke which affected the right side of my body. I had to use my left hand to raise my right arm and hand. Now that I have finished EECP, I can raise my right arm and hand without help. I am also more alert, energized and have less pain. Thanks to Dr. Sosin and staff for introducing and administering EECP to me.

Before I started EECP, I had a triple bypass surgery, numerous angioplasties, stents in the iliac arteries of the legs and a carotid artery surgery in my neck. I was on fifteen different medications. I am also a diabetic and have kidney disease with one kidney working only at 20% and the other at 80%.

EECP has improved my kidney function and I now have no chest pain. I can now walk 1-2 miles with no problems where before I could not walk 1-2 blocks. I have cut my blood pressure medication by 240mg and my diabetic medication by 2.5 mg so far.

Dr. Sosin is an excellent practitioner and understands the heart, kidneys and diabetic medications. My blood pressure now runs 120/70 or 130/70 most of the time. My sugar level runs about 100-130. My legs feel much better than they have for years. The doctor's all natural supplements have helped me twice as good as prescription medications with no side effects. All the office personnel are great and the technicians are excellent. I am very happy with the results.

I had open heart surgery on June 20, 2002. I was in and out of the hospital thirteen times in the following ten months. I have been on over thirty three different prescription medications. The side effects of the medication and the multiple return trips to the hospital have been very unpleasant and exhausting. I had been unable to drive my car due to side effects of the medications.

On the advice of Dr. Sosin, and the recommendation of Dr. Bello, I began EECP treatment on May 6, 2003. After a very few treatments I began to feel much better. I have more energy physically and mentally. I have now completed the 35 treatments recommended and I feel better now than I have felt in the last couple of years. My prescriptions have been dropped to five. I am a firm believer in EECP.

For more information on EECP, Please visit Vasomedical.

  • This information is provided for educational purposes only. Never add, change, or discontinue medication or treatment without first consulting your doctor. To make an appointment with a doctor at the Institute for Progressive Medicine, please call 949-600-5100.