A series of three cuffs are wrapped around the calves, thighs and buttocks. Inflation and deflation of these cuffs are electronically synchronized in rhythm with your heartbeat using the EKG or cardiogram signal. During diastole, when your heart is relaxed, your heart and coronary arteries are normally filling with blood. During this relaxation phase the cuffs inflate sequentially from the lower legs up toward the heart, as shown in the diagram below.
This sequential inflation causes the heart to fill more easily and fully than normal, and also gently stretches your coronary vessels.
This stretching or ballooning causes the release of Nitric Oxide within the vessel walls. This nitric oxide rich environment stimulates the release of growth factors within the vessel walls that in turn stimulates the growth of new collateral vessels.
During systole, when your heart begins to pump, the cuffs rapidly and simultaneously deflate, creating a “vacuum effect” in the aorta.
This vacuum allows the heart to pump into a lower pressure system, which increases systolic unloading. All that means is that your heart does more work with less effort while you are receiving ECP© treatment.
The new collateral vessels you grow around your heart during your ECP© treatments re-supply the ischemic or blood-deficient areas of the heart. So rather than surgically grafting a vessel from your leg onto your heart to bypass the blockages you may have, as is done with bypass surgery, ECP© utilizes the natural healing mechanisms of the heart to grow these new bypasses…Naturally and non-surgically!
- ECP© treatments last one hour per day, five days a week for seven weeks, for a total of 35 hours.
- During treatment the patient lies comfortably on a treatment bed while the pressure cuffs inflate and deflate rhythmically with the patient’s own heartbeat.
- Throughout the session most patients listen to music, watch a movie, or even doze. You may bring in your own VHS movies or CDs, or feel free to bring a family member to keep you company.