The expansion for EECP is Enhanced External Counterpulsation. Enhanced means it is an advanced version, External means it is completely outside the body, it was not an invasive procedure, surgical procedure or needing any injection. Counter means it counters the heart function, (for example) when the heart tries to pumps the blood outside, the cuffs which are placed outside in the leg deflates. So that it can able to receive the blood from the heart.
When the heart goes for the dilatation or the diastolic phase, the cuff inflates pushing the blood into the coronary circulation. So it is called a counter. And pulsation, it is the blood flow into the blood vessels in a pulsatile manner because the heart pumps in systole and relax in diastole. So similarly the inflation and deflation send a pulsatile blood flow into the vascular system. So it is called counterpulsation.
EECP is a completely outpatient procedure in that patients doesn’t have to get into hospitalization. It is called as day care procedure, every day the patient comes for one-hour treatment procedure and after that one hour they will stay for 15minutes to do some vital examinations like blood pressure, a pulse oximeter to access the oxygen saturation and monitor heart rate and then they go back home.
This treatment can also be provided as a 2-session (double) per day. So that It can be completed in 15days, usually the protocol is 35 days, 6days a week, coming for six weeks. For, whether this treatment is approved? the answer is yes the treatment is US FDA approved.
The USA, FDA as cleared enhanced external counterpulsation for cardiac alignment. Which include heart attack, cardiogenic shock, heart failure and patient who are having angina which is called chest pain. Recently in 2012 and 2013 many clinical research papers are available. The clinical validation and scientific literature are growing. The American College of Cardiology and European society of cardiology includes EECP into its guideline and now EECP is mentioned in many cardiac textbooks.
After the introduction of EECP in India for about 5 years or more than 5 years many insurance companies are covering EECP as an outpatient treatment for eligible cardiac patient and now the Tamilnadu government has initiated a program, where this EECP treatment is provided in all the government medical colleges, hospital through Vaso-Meditech heal your heart company as a public-private partnership.
So this treatment has been validated by clinical literature with more than 200 publications. And now also available in teaching medical institutions in many parts of India. So obviously it is an approved treatment for patients with angina and heart failure.