What happens during ECP Therapy?
How is ECP therapy performed?
Screening for suitability for Counterpulsation is very important and involves a review of each person’s medical history, physical examination and previous cardiac investigations. Some individuals may require additional tests before Counterpulsation can be recommended.
Three sets of pressure cuffs are placed on the legs (calves, thighs and buttocks and waist). A electrical signal from the heart is continually recorded from three small electrodes attached to the chest wall. Pressure in the blood vessels is monitored via a probe place on a finger which is used to monitor treament. Blood pressure and heart rate are checked before starting
During treatment the cuffs rapidly inflate in time with the heart rhythm, squeezing the arteries and veins in the lower body. The Counterpulsation therapist will gradually adjust pressure until an effective treatment effect is observed. During the therapy participants can relax by listening to music or watching TV. Some people even sleep!
Once a treatment session is completed and the cuffs are removed the individual can get up, dress and leave the treatment centre immediately. A complete course of ECP comprises thirty-five, one-hour sessions, spread over four to seven consecutive weeks. These can be one or two sessions a day according to personal preference.