How Does EECP Unblock Coronary Arteries?

Circulation-boosting technique an option for those who can’t undergo heart surgery.

Lonnie’s atherosclerosis led to him having coronary artery bypass surgery in 2005.

Lonnie Davis has been intrigued by movement and exercise since he was a boy. His interest intensified as he grew older, and he ultimately earned a doctorate in exercise physiology. He then spent 45 years in higher education as a professor in the field.

“Out of high school, I earned a scholarship and received a bachelor’s degree from Morehead State University in Kentucky,” says Lonnie, 77. “I then went up to Bloomington, Indiana, and got a master’s degree from Indiana University. After that, I went back to Kentucky and started teaching.

“After three years, I decided I wanted to work with more serious students. My major professor at Morehead got me a teaching fellowship at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. I spent three years in the PhD program.”

Once Lonnie completed his doctorate, he returned to the Bluegrass State and taught exercise physiology at Northern Kentucky University for 20 years and Eastern Kentucky University for 25 years.

“I had a wonderful career,” he gushes. “I never worked a day in my life.”

Lonnie’s life hasn’t always been smooth sailing, however. Persistently high cholesterol resulted in the development of atherosclerosis, which are deposits of fatty plaque on the walls of the coronary arteries feeding his heart. That situation ultimately led to coronary artery bypass surgery in 2005.

“My mother had high cholesterol, and all five of her children, of which I’m the oldest, inherited her cholesterol problem,” Lonnie elaborates. “My mother had open heart surgery, and my younger brother had six stents placed in his arteries. When I turned 60, I underwent open heart surgery as well.

“I thought that would take care of the problem, but after we moved to Tampa three years ago, I began experiencing shortness of breath and chest pain, for which I took nitroglycerin. I enjoy planting flowers and working in my yard, but I couldn’t do that because I couldn’t breathe when I was outside. You could hear me struggling to breathe from across the street. My cardiologist told me four of my five arteries were totally blocked, and the fifth was about 50 percent blocked.”

Lonnie wasn’t a candidate for stents or a second heart surgery, so his doctor recommended additional medication. Lonnie wasn’t interested in taking more drugs, so he and his wife prayed about the situation. They believe their prayers were answered.

“I feel super now. I’m breathing easily and feeling much better.” – Lonnie

“While at my doctor’s office one day, I was looking around for some reading material and saw Florida Health Care News,” Lonnie remembers. “I took it home with me and read all about Dr. Amarchand and his alternative to bypass surgery.

“Over the years, I’ve remained good friends with the gentleman who performed my heart surgery. I asked him about the procedure Dr. Amarchand offers. He did some research and told me, Lonnie, do what you can to get into that program. It’s first class and about the only choice you have. So, I made an appointment with Dr. Amarchand.”

L. Amarchand, MD, is a cardiologist and internist in Brooksville. He offers a safe, noninvasive, circulation-boosting technique for easing uncomfortable cardiac symptoms called enhanced external counterpulsation, or EECP.What are The Benefits of EECP?

Dr. Amarchand uses EECP to treat heart disorders such as congestive heart failure, blocked coronary arteries and angina pain. Using EECP, Dr. Amarchand has a record of success in maintaining his cardiac patients’ heart health and independence.

Natural Bypass

Dr. Amarchand learned that Lonnie’s symptoms were caused by a lack of oxygenated blood flowing through his heart. In addition to shortness of breath, that condition can also lead to a loss of energy, weakness and tightening or pressure in the chest.

“As these symptoms get progressively worse, it is not unusual for people to restrict their activities to reduce their discomfort,” Dr. Amarchand observes. “As a result, their quality of life quickly diminishes.

“EECP can reverse these symptoms by working like a natural bypass procedure. More than 12 million Americans have found relief from their symptoms, had their energy restored and received other benefits through the use of EECP.”

EECP is delivered through a series of 35 hourlong sessions over seven weeks. During each session, the fully clothed patient reclines on a cushioned table while listening to music or watching a movie. Compression cuffs are wrapped around the 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,” Dr. Amarchand explains. “It helps the circulatory system bypass coronary artery blockages and opens the underused collateral blood vessels.”

With his chest pain and shortness of breath relieved, Lonnie is active again.

Lonnie emphasizes that the treatment isn’t painful.

“It squeezes your calves and thighs in synchronization with your heartbeat so more oxygen gets to your heart,” Lonnie describes. “I wasn’t getting enough oxygen before because the cholesterol was constantly blocking my arteries.”

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

“According to studies, 85 percent of patients completing EECP treatments obtain substantial and sometimes dramatic relief from their heart-related symptoms,” Dr. Amarchand reports. “The same percentage realizes increased exercise tolerance, mental alertness and reduced need for nitroglycerin to relieve angina pain.”

Because it’s noninvasive, EECP can be repeated as often as needed, says Dr. Amarchand, adding that the beneficial effects can last from three to five years. Also, the treatment is FDA-approved and Medicare-reimbursed.

“I’m Just Elated”

Lonnie began his sessions on June 15 and completed his 35th session on August 3. He’s amazed by the difference in his condition. Dr. Amarchand’s partner, Dr. Tong Guo, is an EECP pioneer who administers the treatments.

“I feel super now,” Lonnie declares. “I’m breathing easily and feeling much better. I stopped having chest pain about halfway through the treatment, and I haven’t had to use nitroglycerin since sometime in July. I haven’t struggled to breathe since mid-July, either, so I’m just elated.”

Lonnie is also overjoyed with Dr. Amarchand and his staff, giving them high grades for their expertise and kindness.

“Dr. Amarchand is great. He’s extremely bright and can solve problems,” Lonnie raves. “He cares about his patients, which I think is wonderful. He and Dr. Guo are topnotch. I’ve never seen better physicians. And the people at the office have been wonderful. I highly recommend EECP because it’s an excellent treatment.”

© FHCN article by Patti DiPanfilo. Photo by Jordan Pysz. mkb


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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

      Amarchand, MD, FACP, received his medical degree from the University of Mysore in Karnataka, India. He later completed a residency in internal medicine and a two-year fellowship in cardiology and cardiac nuclear imaging at St. Barnabas Me... Read More

    • Tong Guo

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