Lying "Marathon" - Enhanced External Counterpulsation Assists in Cardiac Rehabilitation 

Release time:2024-03-26
“My legs are stronger than before, I don't feel out of breath when going up and down stairs, and my sleep at night has improved. This enhanced external counterpulsation therapy is really amazing! I can't believe being treated just by lying down." Recently, Mr. Lin, a patient at the Multidisciplinary Diagnosis and Treatment Center of the International Medical Department of Hainan Cancer Hospital - Hainan Chengmei Hospital, joyfully described his experience after receiving enhanced external counterpulsation therapy for cardiac rehabilitation at the hospital. 

The doctor conducting an assessment of the patient for enhanced external counterpulsation therapy

Marathon on bed

Grandfather Lin, who is 90 years old this year, underwent a stent surgery back in 2014 due to coronary heart disease. One month ago, Grandfather Lin experienced repeated chest tightness and shortness of breath, accompanied by weakness in both lower limbs. After admission, he was diagnosed with "coronary artery atherosclerotic heart disease."

After a detailed evaluation of Grandfather Lins condition and physical health, Dr. Shu Yue, Deputy Director of the cardiac rehabilitation outpatient department, considered his advanced age and developed an individualized cardiac rehabilitation treatment plan, which includes enhanced external counterpulsation therapy as one of the options.

Enhanced external counterpulsation (EECP) therapy, also known as "marathon on bed," is a non-invasive external assist circulation technology used to treat various ischemic diseases.

By wrapping cuffs around the lower legs, thighs, and buttocks of the patient, EECP therapy applies pressure during the diastolic phase of the heart, propelling the arterial blood flow from the lower extremities back up towards the upper body. This helps increase blood perfusion to vital organs such as the heart, brain, and kidneys, improving their ischemic and hypoxic conditions. During the systolic phase, the cuffs are rapidly deflated, reducing the resistance to left ventricular ejection. This accelerates blood flow towards the periphery, assisting the heart in its pumping action, reducing cardiac workload, and improving overall systemic microcirculation.

Moreover, EECP therapy can improve blood viscosity, increase blood flow velocity, promote the opening of collateral vessels to vital organs, enhance microcirculation, improve endothelial cell function, prevent the occurrence and progression of atherosclerosis, and reduce the risk of thromboembolism.

After continuous treatment for 3 days, Grandfather Lin feels that his spirit has significantly improved. "After the treatment, the symptoms of chest tightness and shortness of breath have significantly improved. My energy and spirit have become better. I am sleeping well and enjoying my meals. On good weather days, I am even able to go out for a walk by myself." Grandfather Lin happily shares his treatment experience with the doctor.

"Enjoyable" cardiac rehabilitation

During the rehabilitation process of cardiovascular disease, exercise rehabilitation is one of the essential components of treatment. However, in many cases, patients are limited in their ability or condition to initiate exercise, or they are unable to exercise consistently because of poor willpower.

"Enhanced external counterpulsation is a nationally advocated green rehabilitation method for the heart, also known as biologic bypass technology." According to Shuyues introduction, the unique aspect of enhanced external counterpulsation therapy, as compared to other treatments, is that it avoids the side effects associated with invasive procedures.

During the entire process of enhanced external counterpulsation therapy, patients lie on the treatment bed and undergo a "pleasure-oriented" rehabilitation treatment in resting. Enhanced external counterpulsation therapy not only is non-invasive but also offers the advantages of on-demand and safe treatment with ease and convenience.

Enhanced external counterpulsation therapy is mainly used to treat various ischemic diseases, including ischemic cerebrovascular diseases, ischemic cardiovascular diseases, ischemic eye diseases, ischemic muscular diseases, ischemic ear diseases, and ischemic renal diseases. Additionally, it is also suitable for individuals with hypertension, diabetes, high blood lipid levels, obesity, and a family history of cardiovascular disease. It can also have a positive effect on preventing fatigue, maintaining the well-being of sub-healthy individuals, and promoting the health of elderly individuals.

Currently, the Cardiac Rehabilitation Outpatient Department at Hainan Chengmei Hospital has regularized the implementation of non-invasive enhanced external counterpulsation therapy, which has received positive reviews and recognition from patients.

Cardiac Rehabilitation Clinic

Visiting specialist

Clinic address

Traditional Chinese medicine department, the 8th Consultation Area, 2nd floor(Building 6) of Hainan Chengmei Hospital