External counterpulsation (ECP): When Angioplasty or Bypass Surgery Doesn’t Work!

When patients suffering from angina are not eligible for bypass surgery or angioplasty then external counterpulsation (ECP) may help in treating the condition. Sometimes cholesterol gets deposited on the wall of the arteries that supply blood to the heart in the form of plaque. The deposited plaque makes the arteries narrower and harder which restrict the blood supply to the heart. In the absence of a sufficient amount of oxygen-rich blood, the heart needs to work harder to pump more blood which then leads to angina or chest pain.

ECP is found to be quite helpful in treating angina when bypass and angioplasty are not helpful. ECP is one of the effective and noninvasive methods used to decrease the symptoms of angina.

Angina not only affects your physical health but also affects the ability of a man to have erections. However, pills like cenforce 100 are available to cure erection issues in men. Cenforce 100 is an effective sildenafil tablet that leads to improved erections. Cenforce 100 has been approved by the FDA and is the most commonly prescribed pill for treating the problem of erection in men.

What Are The Symptoms Of Angina?

One may experience the following problems in his chest while suffering from angina:

  • Burning sensation
  • Pressure
  • Tightness
  • Squeezing
  • Heaviness
  • Pain which starts behind the breastbone and may often spread to the neck, arms, jaw,throat, back , shoulder or teeth.

Apart from these sensations in the chest , one may also experience the following symptoms:

  • Breathing problems
  • Indigestion
  • Nausea
  • Excessive sweating
  • Weakness
  • Muscles cramps
  • Heartburn

Angina may also lead to the inability of a man to achieve erections. There might be chances that due to plaque deposition the arteries supplying blood to the penis also get narrowed which in turn restrict the blood supply to the penis leading to a failed erection. Cenforce 100 is one of the effective ways to overcome this problem.

Cenforce 100 is a PDE5 inhibitor which aids in the increased blood flow to the penis by relaxing the smooth muscles of the penis and hence causing an erection. But cenforce 100 has some potential side effects also which makes it unsafe for few men. Cenforce 100 also interacts with nitrates which you are using for treating angina and causing a serious drop in blood pressure leading to dizziness and fatigue.

So consult your doctor before mixing cenforce 100 with nitrates or any other medications that you are using for other diseases as it may turn the situation worse.

Who Is Not Considered Fit For External Counterpulsation (ECP)?

Following situations and health conditions may restrict patients with angina to go for External counterpulsation (ECP):

  • Blood clot in a blood vessel, a health condition known as deep vein thrombosis
  • Increased heart rate
  • Hypertension
  • Inability in blood clotting
  • The disease of heart valve
  • Pacemakers
  • Inflammation of a vein 
  • Pregnancy 
  • Uncontrolled arrhythmia
  • An enlarged heart
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Valvular disease
  • Haemorrhage
  • Severe high blood pressure
  • Heart rate greater than 120 beats per minute

Who Is Suitable For External Counterpulsation?

One who has the following conditions can go for ECP:

  • Have not gotten relief even after taking nitrates
  • Have chronic stable angina
  • Does not eligible for bypass or angioplasty

What Happens During External Counterpulsation (ECP)?

The treatment of ECP is usually done daily for around five to twelve weeks or even more. The treatment procedure normally takes one hour. For carrying out the process, the patients are placed on a comfortable table and cuffs are tied to their calf and upper and lower thighs of each leg. A monitor is attached to the cuffs with the help of which the doctor can keep track of your blood pressure and make the necessary changes if required.

These cuffs can be deflated or inflated according to the result of an electrocardiogram, which measures your heartbeat. Firstly the cuff of your calf inflates, then the cuffs of the lower thigh followed by that of upper thigh cuffs. As the heart starts another beat the cuffs deflate. Since external counterpulsation boosts the pressure of the blood that flows through the aorta of the heart when the heart is resting, it gets an excess of oxygenated blood.

Are There Any Side Effects Of External Counterpulsation?

In the early days of treatment, a few patients may feel fatigued but it is generally for a short period. When the course of treatment progresses, one may start feeling better and energetic. Though you can start the physical day to day activities immediately after ECP, however, it is highly recommended to consult your doctor before indulging yourself in any kind of stressful activities.

Although there are a few mild side effects of ECP which can rarely turn into a severe form and there might be chances that you have to end the treatment. Some of the possible side effects of ECP are:

  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Sores on the legs where cuffs have been tied
  • Skin irritation

If you experience any of these side effects then immediately talk to your doctor.

What Is The Working Mechanism Of ECP?

External counterpulsation works by compressing the blood vessels of the lower limb thereby increasing the blood flow to your heart. The pressure wave is timed to the heartbeat in such a way that the increased blood flow is supplied to your heart precisely at the time when it is in a resting position. The pressure gets released when the heart pumps once again.

ECP helps the blood vessels to open the small pathways for the extra oxygen-rich blood flow to the heart. This aids in overcoming the angina symptoms.

What Are The Benefits Of External Counterpulsation?

ECP is quite effective in reducing angina symptoms but it also aids in the following things:

  • Boost your energy level
  • Increase your exercise duration
  • Increase the oxygen supply to the heart thereby preventing various heart diseases
  • Decrease the use of nitroglycerin 
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