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Enhanced External Counterpulsation (EECP) Therapy for Erectile Dysfunction

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There are many ED treatments that are widely used, despite clinical studies showing that they have little if any benefit.

However, there is one treatment, Enhanced External Counterpulsation (EECP), which seems to be effective yet is virtually unknown!

Enhanced External Counterpulsation is a non-invasive treatment. It uses pneumatic sleeves placed around the lower legs and thighs. The sleeves are inflated and deflated in synch with the patient’s heartbeat, producing a pumping effect that increases blood circulation. This encourages blood vessels to open small channels that become new branches, in a process called revascularization.

Like Low-Intensity Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (LI-ESWT), it offers the potential for long-term improvement in erectile function.

EECP was originally developed to treat angina, a type of chest pain caused by reduced blood flow to the heart.

Several studies1 2, including an overview of other studies3, have shown that EECP can be an effective treatment for erectile dysfunction. However, it is not a commercially available treatment option.

There are a number of likely reasons for this:

  • The studies have been small, so there is not sufficient evidence to justify investment.
  • The therapy requires a fairly large number of treatments (20-35) in a clinical setting, making it difficult, expensive and time consuming to administer.
  • The therapy is counter-indicated for patients with certain heart conditions.

Like Low-Intensity Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (LI-ESWT)

Further research is needed to determine if EECP is more or less effective than other treatment options.

Illustration: Blausen.com staff (2014). “Medical gallery of Blausen Medical 2014“. WikiJournal of Medicine 1 (2). DOI:10.15347/wjm/2014.010ISSN 2002-4436.


References

  1. Froschermaier, S E ; Werner, D; Leike, S; Schneider, M; Waltenberger, J; Daniel, W G; Wirth, M P. “Enhanced external counterpulsation as a new treatment modality for patients with erectile dysfunction.” Urologia Internationalis. 1998;61(3):168-71. <https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9933838/>
  2. El-Sakka, A I; Morsy, A M; Fagih, B I. “Enhanced external counterpulsation in patients with coronary artery disease-associated erectile dysfunction.” Journal of Sexual Medicine. 2007. <http://ecptherapy.com/ecp-eecp-clinical-trials/errectile-dysfunction/>
  3. Raeissadat, Seyed Ahmad; Javadi, Atefeh; Allameh, Farzad. “Enhanced external counterpulsation in rehabilitation of erectile dysfunction: a narrative literature review.” Vascular Health Risk Management. December 2018; 14: 393–399.
    <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6284534/>

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