1. What is ECP?
It is a natural healing therapy for patients with coronary artery disease by means of a non-invasive, non-surgical, massage-like procedure. ECP is basically an external circulatory assistance that acts as a safe, low-cost, outpatient treatment modality.
“Natural Bypass (ECP) Therapy” is a treatment that can be used for the purposes of both the treatment and also prevention of patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.
In the management of patients with coronary artery disease, combination of invasive interventional modalities such as balloon-stent application and non-invasive ECP therapy can provide a better outcome for these patients by their complementary effects.
2. What are the health benefits of ECP?
Decrease of symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, fluid retention, day by day with the initiation of ECP treatment.
Decrease in drugs used.
Improvement in physical activity.
Increase in exercise duration
Improved blood supply to heart muscle
Decreased number of hospital visits
Decrease in adverse cardiac events, such as myocardial infarction, heart failure and sudden death, which may occur during the natural course of coronary artery disease.
Decrease in need of invasive procedures, such as coronary angiography, balloon-stent application and bypass surgery.
Improvement in overall quality of life.
Sustained benefit up to 3-5 years.
3. Are there any non-cardiac benefits for the ECP therapy?
Cerebrovascular diseases of non-hemorragic origin including recovery from stroke, Parkinson and Alzheimer diseases, eye and ear diseases including sudden blindness, sudden deafness, tinnitus, Restless Leg Syndrome, sexual importance due to erectile dysfunction of vascular origin are main non-cardiac indications for ECP therapy.
It is also recommended as anti-aging therapy and for professional sportsmen to improve physical conditioning.
4. Are there any side effects or complications?
There is no reported serious complication when the procedure is applied with care and patients are selected carefully, excluding those who have aortic aneurism, aortic value insufficiency and thrombophlebitis.
5. How does it work?
ECP is a rhythmic, deep muscle massage-like application. It is performed by squeezing and loosening the lower half of the body in accordance with each cardiac beat.
Usually 35 hours of treatment is applied 1-2 hours/daily. Severely disabled cardiac patients may need to stay in the hospital and to receive more treatment. The patients do not feel any pain or discomfort, and may even fall asleep during ECP application.
6. What are the effects of the ECP treatment?
ECP enhances the blood supplying vessel network in the heart and tissues by expanding the existing vessels and also lead to the formation of new capillary vessels.
It provides new vessel routes to the areas with decreased blood supply due to atherosclerotic vessel narrowing’s.
ECP also has a regenerative effect, enhancing stem cell and tissue repair.
7. Which type of heart disease patients benefit most from the treatment?
Any patient whose heart is unable to pump adequate blood to the tissues and organs, can get benefit from ECP therapy.
ECP is the treatment of choice for those cardiac patients who had bypass surgery and/or balloon-stent application in the past but who are still having angina and don’t have therapies again.
ECP is also the treatment of choice for patients who have diffuse coronary artery disease but whose arteries are not suitable for any intervention stated above on first diagnosis, as usually seen in diabetic patients and female patients.
ECP can provide satisfactory recovery to patients with heart failure, restricted physical activity, disabilities and candidates for heart transplants.