A natural alternative to heart bypass surgery
Are you in search of a non-invasive alternative to bypass surgery for treatment of cardiovascular problems that includes treatment for Angina? If so, then there’s an excellent natural therapy called EECP therapy, which stands for Enhanced External Counter-Pulsation, for people suffering from cardiovascular diseases including angina pain and/or heart failure, or who are unable to have heart bypass surgery or angioplasty.
Unlike invasive heart bypass surgery or balloon/stent angioplasty, EECP therapy is a natural procedure which is often termed as ‘natural bypass’ alternative to heart bypass surgery. The procedure is relaxing and is absolutely free from the risks normally associated with invasive procedures. The benefits of this natural therapy are yet to be fully comprehended, especially due to poor awareness among the people. This may be also due to the fact that physicians are not popularizing this process as it may pose a threat to the multimillion dollar open heart surgery industry, which is prospering on continuous supply of heart patients to the cardiac surgery suites of the big hospitals by the practicing cardiologists, in spite of exorbitant cost and pain to the patients.
What is EECP therapy?
EECP therapy, which is a natural alternative to bypass surgery is totally a non-surgical procedure with amazing success rate and does not involve hospitalization, anesthesia or even any special medicines before or after the procedure and the patient can go home immediately after the treatment. EECP is relaxing and is absolutely free from the risks normally associated with heart bypass surgery. EECP therapy is highly cost effective, which costs only 1/4th of the cost of surgery or angioplasty and is normally carried out in out-patient sessions. The only downside is that this wonder natural heart treatment is too good to be true and it takes sometime to comprehend and say yes to it.
How EECP works as an alternative to bypass surgery?
EECP therapy is a high-tech treatment carried out entirely by a computerized machine. The patient lies on a special type of bed of the machine and soft pads, very similar to blood pressure pads, are tied to both his legs, below the knees and above, at the hips and both his arms (see the photo above). Three or five electrodes are applied to the chest to record a constant ECG. Negative and positive pressure is then put into these cuffs which inflates and deflates them. The inflation/deflation cycle of the cuffs is synchronized with the patient’s heart beats and forces the blood to travel from the legs to the heart. The blood flow through the blood vessels and the arteries also increases considerably as a result. These lead to a better functional efficiency of the heart. Thus EECP treatment considerably increases the blood flow to the heart and the impact/effect of the treatment prevails for a long time. EECP therapy relieves chest pain for the patient, makes breathing easier for him, helps him to take a longer walk and it provides him a much better quality of life. The five-year outcomes for patients who have gone for EECP treatment as an alternative to heart bypass surgery have been observed to be virtually same as for patients who have gone for angioplasty or invasive heart bypass.
This wonder alternative to bypass surgery, works just like an elastic band. When stretched for a long time, it loosens up. Also, the increased blood flow to the heart enlarges the small blood vessels, opens up several dormant blood vessels lying closed since birth and also helps to form new blood vessels. These form a 'natural bypass’ to the blocked arteries and ensure proper oxygen supply to the heart muscles similar to post cardiac bypass.
Benefits of EECP therapy in treatment for Angina
Well, let’s take a look at all the pain and trauma an ‘angina’ patient has to go through in order to get an idea of the benefits of this natural bypass therapy. Angina symptoms occur when vessels that carry blood to the heart muscle become dysfunctional, and are often narrowed or blocked. It is known that most patients, who suffer from ‘Angina’, complain of discomfort in the chest provoked by mental, physical or emotional stress. They also complain of breathing problem, fatigue, indigestion and other symptoms. The doctors usually control such complains by medication. However, we have also seen that when normal medications for treatment for Angina become ineffective over time, invasive heart bypass surgery is recommended by the doctors as a last resort. But invasive procedures have their problems too – apart from being very expensive, they sometimes fail and pose life risks to the patients. Moreover, who wouldn't like to avoid open heart surgery with its associated risks if an alternative to bypass surgery is available? Here comes the advantage of External Counter-pulsation Therapy (EECP).
The benefits of this natural procedure in treatment for Angina symptoms last for about 3 to 6 years or more after the treatment is over.
How often the patients are administered EECP therapy?
In treatment for Angina the therapy is administered for about 35 hours in all – one hour every day and five days a week for about seven weeks. It can also be done twice a day, needing only 3/4 weeks. External Counter-pulsation Therapy can also be done on patients where heart bypass surgery or angioplasty have failed or for additional benefits for a better and more active lifestyle.
What is the success rate of EECP therapy?
EECP therapy may be a successful alternative for heart bypass surgery, but the outcome of the procedure may vary from case to case. Nevertheless, according to a recent report the response rate for patients suffering from angina is quite high at around 90 percent, with none of the risks of open-heart surgery or angioplasty. The success of External Counter-pulsation Therapy in Angina treatment can be gauged from the fact that in USA Medical Insurance reimbursement rate for this natural heart bypass therapy has increased by about 7% whereas for other procedures like angioplasty and bypass surgery the same has decreased by about 6%.
EECP therapy promises to be on the forefront of cardiac rehabilitation in treatment for Angina and heart failure in the near future. In order to avoid open heart surgery this therapy has been in use for quite sometime as an alternative to heart bypass surgery in many countries such as China, US, Australia, France, Germany and India. The procedure is approved by the statutory authorities in Europe, USA, China and India. China alone boasts now of over 12000 EECP centers while there are more than 900 such centers in USA carrying out EECP treatment and helping patients to avoid heart bypass surgery. This natural heart bypass procedure has proved so effective in Angina treatment for reducing angina symptoms that it is covered under Blue Shield and Blue Cross Medical schemes in USA. Since it improves circulation throughout the body, the Enhanced External Counter-pulsation (EECP) therapy is a cure-all procedure. It is perhaps the most powerful therapy to support individual well-being since having EECP therapy is like adding a second heart to the body which increases blood flow in all the vital organs like the brain, kidneys and intestines.
radharenu (author) from India on December 11, 2013:
Thank you for stopping by and for your valued information.
conradofontanilla from Philippines on December 11, 2013:
Chelation therapy has already passed a double blind statistical design of trials. 1700 patients were involved. You can view the video by searching, chelation therapy video in the internet.
Some risk in EECP is that a part of the plaque might be torn off and turn into a thrombus that can partially or completely block an artery. That results in stroke. The formation of collateral circulation must be verified further.
lotusprins from Chicago, Illinois on December 10, 2013:
I was delighted to read this article however, I realized it was put out in 2009. I would like to know if this treatment is still in existence and how have the success rates been over the years? This treatment sounds very similar to exercising and putting a greater work load on the heart thus causing it to create greater vascularization through its collateral circulation! Which is an amazing miracle that the body can garner. Is this treatment available in the US? I am interested in trying this out.
radharenu (author) from India on August 03, 2011:
One of the main benefits of EECP is that the increased blood flow to the heart opens up several dormant blood vessels lying closed since birth and also helps to form new blood vessels.These form a 'natural bypass’ to the blocked arteries.
conradofontanilla on August 02, 2011:
EECP to me looks like it is working like angioplasty where the occluded part is widened but the deposits are still there. It might just happen that the widened part with the deposit will close up again, which happens in angioplastied artery. In chelation therapy, the deposit is dissolved and atheroma, the benign tumor to which deposits adhered,is healed.
Charles S on August 02, 2011:
That's good news about chelation. I just agreed to a request from a blogger to add a link to my hub. His blog details success with chelation therapy. My main problem with chelation is the length of time required for results. Whereas Linus Pauling's treatment for heart disease works within days, even hours.
I had some more thoughts about EECP treatment. I can see now why it works as it uses (external) pressure to improve blood circulation. I have again taken up chi kung breathing exercises to further improve my health. And it works based on increasing (internal) pressure on blood circulation.
conradofontanilla from Philippines on August 01, 2011:
I am undergoing infusion chelation therapy for my myocardial ischemia (narrowing of heart artery). This therapy counters free radicals that cause diseases including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, and more. Chelation erodes plaque, non-invasive and safe. I am recovering strength due to improved blood flow. I elaborated this in more detail in my Hub "Heart Disease: The Conventional View Versus the Free Radical Theories of Disease" It is good to have alternatives in treating and curing heart disease.
radharenu (author) from India on June 06, 2011:
Thanks for your comments.The overall current success rate for bypass operation is approximately 95 to 98 percent, which means 2 to 5 percent of all patients have complications including death after the surgery. The patients with severely damaged heart muscles and blocked arteries tend to have higher risk. It must be noted here that no invasive-surgery can be carried out without potential risks involved.
Charles Russell Stockdale from UK on June 06, 2011:
It's great to read about alternatives to bypass surgery, so I think your hub is valuable, well done.
The 98% success rate for bypass surgery is misleading. That's probably just the survival rate of those having the operation. If they need another further stents and bypass surgeries every few years then this is not a successful solution to heart disease.
I'm 60 now and continue in very good health despite abandoning all medication since a bad heart attack 4 years ago.
OpinionDuck on October 15, 2010:
I understand, and there is probably a place for both of these procedures.
radharenu (author) from India on October 14, 2010:
The success rate for bypass operation is about 90 to 95 percent. However,patients with severely damaged heart muscles and blocked arteries tend to have higher risk. It must be noted here that no invasive-surgery can be carried out without potential risks involved.
OpinionDuck on October 14, 2010:
HOw does that success rate of 80% compare with the success rate of a bypass?