Circulation Booster

Bypass results without surgery

Gary Roberts doesn’t like to sit still. Originally from Western New York, Gary moved to Florida in 1967 and eventually started a small business in Brooksville. The 72-year-old finally retired in 2016. He didn’t stay idle, however.

Dr. L. Amarchand of Brooksville treated Gary Roberts for lack of energy due to heart disease using EECP therapy.

EECP therapy has allowed Gary to resume his active lifestyle.

“I try to stay busy,” he says of his retirement lifestyle. “I have a shop in the garage where I do a little bit of everything. I do woodworking and make furniture for my family, and I work on my motorcycle.”

For years, Gary has battled heart disease, which impedes the proper functioning of the heart and causes a variety of symptoms, including chest pain, shortness of breath and ankle swelling. Earlier this year, Gary began experiencing other symptoms that made him uncomfortable and slowed him down.

“I started feeling tired, weak and worn out,” he describes. “The fatigue interfered with some of the things I like to do. I could only work in the yard for short periods of time because I’d get real tired. I didn’t have the energy to work in my shop or do things with my family.”

As Gary’s loss of energy worsened, he turned to his longtime physician for help. He visited board-certified cardiologist and internist L. Amarchand, MD, who is also in Brooksville. For his patients with heart problems, Dr. Amarchand offers a unique treatment process as an alternative to surgery. It’s a safe, noninvasive, circulation-boosting technique called enhanced external counterpulsation (EECP).

Dr. Amarchand uses nonsurgical EECP to treat patients with heart disorders such as congestive heart failure, blocked coronary arteries and angina pain, which are all related to heart disease. Using EECP, Dr. Amarchand has an impressive record of success in maintaining his cardiac patients’ heart health and independence.

“Because I’ve had heart disease for a long time, I’ve been seeing Dr. Amarchand for years,” states Gary. “He was initially recommended to me by my family physician. Dr. Amarchand is a good doctor. He’s very knowledgeable, and he’s kept me going so far.

“When I told Dr. Amarchand about my fatigue, he recommended I try EECP to see if it would increase my energy levels. I started the treatment about eight weeks ago.”

Bypassing Blockages

In addition to the weakness and loss of energy that Gary experienced, a tightening or pressure in the chest, shortness of breath and other symptoms can all be caused by a lack of oxygenated blood flowing through the heart as well.

As these symptoms get progressively worse, it’s not unusual for people to restrict their activities in order to reduce their discomfort. As a result, their quality of life quickly diminishes. EECP can reverse these symptoms by working like a natural bypass procedure.

“More than twelve million Americans have found relief from their symptoms and had their energy restored while also receiving other benefits through the use of EECP,” asserts Dr. Amarchand.

Typically, EECP is delivered through a series of 35 hour-long sessions over the course of seven weeks. During an EECP session, the patient reclines, fully clothed, on a cushioned table while listening to music or watching a movie. Compression cuffs are wrapped around the patient’s calves, thighs and buttocks to apply pressure in rhythms carefully timed to the patient’s heartbeat.

“The pressure propels more blood upward and into the coronary arteries, enlarging the arteries and improving collateral circulation,” explains
Dr. Amarchand. “It helps the patient’s own circulatory system bypass coronary artery blockages and opens up the underused collateral blood vessels.”

“The EECP treatment felt like something was squeezing me,” relates Gary. “It wasn’t painful; it was more a feeling of pressure. If the pressure got to be a little too much, the staff would come right in and take care of it. I was actually comfortable while the treatment was happening.”

EECP is the perfect option for individuals who want to try a noninvasive procedure before resorting to open heart surgery, observes Dr. Amarchand. It’s also good for those who have not achieved relief with prior surgical procedures such as bypass and angioplasty, and for patients who aren’t candidates for surgery.

“According to studies done on the procedure, eighty-five percent of patients completing EECP treatments obtain substantial and sometimes dramatic relief of their heart-related symptoms,” reports Dr. Amarchand. “The same percentage realizes increased exercise tolerance, mental alertness and reduced need for nitroglycerin to relieve angina pain.

“EECP can be repeated as often as needed because it is noninvasive,” adds the doctor. “However, its beneficial effects can last from three to five years.”

The EECP treatment is FDA-approved and Medicare-reimbursed.

Investment Pays Off

While Gary completed all 35 EECP sessions, which is necessary to reap the full benefit of the treatment, he started to see some results early on.

“I noticed a difference after about three weeks of treatment,” he confirms. “That was after about fifteen EECP sessions. At that point, I started feeling more energetic.”

The positive results Gary experienced increased as he continued with his sessions. By the time he completed his treatment, he was no longer feeling tired, weak and worn out.

“I just finished my last session a week ago, and I feel a lot better now,” he enthuses. “I have more energy during the day, and I’m already back to my activities. I can work in the yard and in my shop. Right now, I’m building a cabinet for my son and his wife.”

As a longtime patient of Dr. Amarchand, Gary trusted the physician’s expertise and treatment recommendation. His trust was not misplaced. After treatment with EECP, Gary achieved the energy he needed for a higher quality of life.

“Overall, the treatment was a good experience,” he raves. “The care I received from Dr. Amarchand and his staff was great, and the EECP therapy made me feel better. I’ll do it again if I ever need to because it really paid off.

“The results are definitely worth it. That’s why I recommend EECP to anyone with heart problems or anyone looking for a good heart doctor. They should definitely go to see Dr. Amarchand. He’ll take great care of you.”

FHCN article by Patti DiPanfilo. Photo by Jordan Pysz.nj
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    • L. Amarchand, MD, FACP

      L. Amarchand, MD, FACP, is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine. He completed a residency in internal medicine and a two-year fellowship in cardiology and cardiac nuclear imaging at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingsto... Read More

    • L. Amarchand, MD, FACP

      L. Amarchand, MD, FACP, is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine. He completed a residency in internal medicine and a two-year fellowship in cardiology and cardiac nuclear imaging at St. Barnabas Medical Center, Li... Read More

    • Tong Guo

      Dr. Tong Guo, a pioneer in obtaining FDA approval of EECP for use in the United States, assists Dr. Amarchand in overseeing EECP, ensuring the delivery of optimal treatment with excellent outcomes for patients. Dr. Guo worked as a researc... Read More