Frank Chicarielli (center) an EECP patient, does the ribbon-cutting honors during the ceremony dedicating the EECP area. Assisting are (left to right): AnnMarie Scanlon, RN, Nancy DiLiegro, Ph.D., Director, Clinical Services; and Gary S. Horan FACHE, President & CEO.


Trinitas Regional Medical Center Offers Non-Invasive Alternative To Heart Surgery

A cutting edge procedure is now being offered at Trinitas Regional Medical Center for patients who suffer from coronary artery disease, angina or congestive heart failure. EECP - Enhanced External Counterpulsation - is the only non-surgical cardiac treatment that has been clinically proven in medical studies to be as effective as bypass surgery, stents or angioplasty without any of the risks or recovery time associated with surgery.

Enhanced External Counterpulsation opens or forms small blood vessels, thereby creating natural bypasses around narrowed or blocked arteries and improving the flow of healthy, oxygenated blood to the heart. These new blood vessels help reduce or eliminate angina, increase energy and stamina and return patients to activities they thought they had given up forever.

The FDA-approved procedure, which is covered by Medicare and most insurance, is a relatively simple treatment. Patients lie comfortably on a special bed while several blood pressure cuffs are wrapped around their legs. These cuffs inflate and deflate in sync with the patient's heart beat, pumping healthy blood throughout the body and pushing oxygen-rich blood toward the heart. Patients undergo a one-hour treatment every day for seven weeks, and are able to read, listen to music or sleep during the procedure.

"Many patients assume that their cardiac symptoms, including chest pain, pressure or lack of energy, are irreversible," says Arthur Millman, MD, Chief of Cardiology at Trinitas. "But studies show that the EECP procedure can significantly improve or completely eliminate symptoms, and greatly increase stamina, exercise tolerance and quality of life. It can also reduce or eliminate the use of nitroglycerin and other medications."

Nearly everyone with coronary artery disease, angina or congestive heart failure can benefit from EECP. It is particularly well-suited to people who have already had angioplasty, stents or bypass surgery and are experiencing a return of their heart disease symptoms. It is also ideal for patients who are not candidates for surgery due to other conditions, as well as diabetics and women with small blood vessels.

In addition to EECP, Trinitas Regional Medical Center offers the region's most comprehensive cardiac services, including a full-service cardiac facility as well as facilities for the intensive nursing care of patients with cardiac disease. These include an emergency angioplasty program, cardiac care unit, intermediate coronary care unit, cardiac catheterization lab, full service emergency department and cardiac rehabilitation services. These facilities are all staffed by the area's largest team of board-certified cardiologists, an experienced cardiovascular nursing staff, and specially-trained cardiac technicians.

For more information on EECP please call 908-994-5072.

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