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Enhanced External Counterpulsation (EECP)

Enhanced External Counterpulsation (EECP) is a nonsurgical treatment for angina (chronic chest pain) and other conditions involving poor circulation. EECP is often referred to as a "natural bypass" because it stimulates the formation of small blood vessels to create natural bypasses around narrowed and blocked arteries.

If you have been diagnosed with angina and no longer respond to medical therapy, need to restrict your physical activity to avoid angina, are unwilling or unable to undergo angioplasty or bypass surgery, have other risk factors such as diabetes, heart failure, pulmonary disease, renal dysfunction, are considered too high risk for angioplasty or bypass surgery, then EECP may be an alternative treatment for you. A physician referral is required.

Lowell General Hospital is the only cardiac center in the Merrimack Valley region that offers EECP. Since patients undergoing EECP treatment receive daily treatment sessions, being close to home is more convenient. We are proud to provide this non-surgical alternative for our community and those who come to Lowell General from outside the area to receive this method of treatment.

Several recent studies have shown that more than 75 percent of patients completing EECP treatments experienced significant relief of symptoms and an improvement of quality of life. Among these benefits:

  • They have fewer episodes of angina.
  • The episodes of angina are less intense.
  • They need less anti-angina medication.
  • They can walk farther without experiencing angina.
  • They can resume work and enjoy more social activities.

Unlike bypass surgery and angioplasty, EECP is done on an outpatient basis, carries little or no risk and is relatively comfortable. Visit our Resources & Education section for what to expect during EECP treatment.

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