External Counterpulsation


More than 6 million Americans suffer from angina, or chest pain, with as many as 350,000 new cases per year. As the group of people with heart disease increases, so does the group of patients who do not achieve complete relief of their angina despite current aggressive therapies, such as angioplasty and bypass surgery.

Our Cardiac Center offers external counterpulsation (ECP). This is a cardiac care therapy that provides relief from angina without surgery or medication. The treatment is designed to improve heart function by increasing blood flow to the heart muscle and decreasing the heart's workload. Basically, ECP improves the balance between the amount of oxygen the heart needs and the amount it receives.

External counterpulsation is a safe, well-tolerated procedure for treating angina with no significant side effect. Patients report:

  • Fewer and less intense episodes of angina
  • Increased quality of life
  • Return to a more active lifestyle
  • Decreased or eliminated medications

ECP is performed one hour at a time in the clinic treatment room while the patient reads or watches TV. Comfortable pneumatic pressure cuffs around the legs systematically inflate and deflate to the rhythm of the patient's heartbeat. ECP moves blood from the legs to assist and increase blood flow in the heart muscle.

As a result, ECP offers patients the possibility of returning to normal, daily activities.

For more information, call our Cardiac Center at 715-838-6320 or toll free at 888-838-4777, ext. 8-6320.