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EECP after Bypass Surgery – for Cardiac Rehabilitation

ECP (External Counter-Pulsation) / EECP (Enhanced External Counter-Pulsation) is a non-surgical, non-invasive, non-mechanical treatment for coronary arterial disease. It is approved by the USFDA for treating patients with chest pain, and for heart failure and congestive heart failure treatment. ECP / EECP treatment works by creating a collateral circulation around blocked arteries, i.e. it essentially works to create a “natural bypass” around the arteries.

As one of the leading clinics of preventive cardiology in India, we at IPC (Institute of Preventive Cardiology) Heart Care Centre, observe that there are a few typical categories of patients who seek ECP / EECP after bypass surgery. In our experience, over 90% of these patients are tremendously benefitted from ECP / EECP therapy.

The categories of patients who seek ECP / EECP after bypass surgery include:

  1. Patients who experience a recurrence of symptoms post bypass surgery: Sometimes, even after undergoing successful bypass surgery, patients experience symptoms like angina, breathlessness, etc. Such patients seek cardiac treatment like ECP / EECP, in a bid to alleviate symptoms and prevent another heart attack or heart failure in the future.
  2. Patients with diffused disease: In patients in whom the blockages are far-spread into the arteries, and the heart surgeon is not able to open out all the blocks, symptoms of heart disease tend to persist. This is because such patients do not have a healthy blood supply to their heart muscles. Since ECP / EECP treatment brings about immediate and sustained increase in the heart’s blood supply by dilating coronary blood vessels, opening dormant collaterals and creating new blood vessels, patients with diffused disease, which is often seen in cholesterolemia, diabetes and hypertension, can also benefit very much from ECP / EECP treatment.
  3. Patients who seek ECP / EECP as preventive cardiac treatment after bypass surgery: With the best heart hospitals in India now offering this preventive cardiology treatment as part cardiac rehabilitation, people have been seeing the tremendous benefits of ECP / EECP, and are opting for ECP / EECP treatment even after bypass surgeries that have been completely successful. In these cases, patients may be symptom-free, but want to undergo the treatment for preventive purposes.

While ECP / EECP is found to be suitable for most cases following bypass surgery, it is only advisable to undertake this preventive cardiac treatment after 6 months from the surgery – after healing has finished. There is a medical protocol to undergo a Thallium Scan test 6 months after bypass surgery in certain cases. This test tells doctors how successful the surgery has been in supplying blood to the muscles of the heart, compared to the baseline of blood supply before surgery.

Once a Thallium Scan is done, the doctors at IPC delve very deep into the medical condition of the patient, in order to determine his / her eligibility for ECP / EECP treatment, and for chalking out the specifics like intensity, duration and schedule of ECP / EECP sessions for the said case.

Patients who are found medically unfit for ECP / EECP therapy or who we feel are not indicated to benefit, are advised towards other appropriate cardiac rehabilitation therapies.

At IPC Heart Care Centre, we have done maximum EECP cases, and with a success rate of 90%. We have a fully trained staff to cater to all patients’ needs.

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