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Treatment

Why choose Allegheny Health Network for CTEPH treatment?

At Allegheny Health Network, you’ll receive state-of-the-art care, nationally recognized by the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA). Allegheny General Hospital is ranked first in the state and tenth in the nation for Medical Excellence in Major Cardiac Surgery.

Our Allegheny General Hospital-based program:

  • Is a PHA-accredited program.
  • Receives patient referrals from across the northeastern United States for its expertise in PTE and BPA.
  • Conducts innovative clinical trials that continue to advance knowledge and treatment of pulmonary hypertension and CTEPH. We also add all eligible patients to the U.S. CTEPH Registry.
  • Is led by Raymond Benza, MD; Manreet Kanwar, MD (pulmonary hypertension specialists in cardiology); Mithun Chakravarthy, MD (interventional cardiologist); and Robert Moraca, MD (cardiothoracic surgeon).

Treatment options

It is important to see a doctor if you have symptoms of CTEPH. Without treatment, heart failure or even death are likely. AHN offers patients several treatment options:

Pulmonary thromboendarterectomy (PTE)
Through the AHN Cardiovascular Institute, Allegheny General Hospital is one of only a few U.S. medical centers whose doctors are experts in performing PTE. This highly complex, state-of-the-art surgical procedure has dramatically improved the quality of life for many patients.

During PTE, surgeons perform open-heart surgery to remove blood clots from arteries in your lungs to improve blood flow. In many patients, this option provides a chance at curing pulmonary hypertension.

Patients are typically discharged from the hospital 10 to 12 days after surgery. After receiving PTE, many of our CTEPH patients have been able to get back to functioning normally and returning to the activities they enjoy.

Ask your doctor if you would be a candidate for PTE surgery. For more information, read our PTE Patient Guide.

Balloon pulmonary angioplasty (BPA)
Some patients are unable to have PTE surgery due to the location of the blood clot or because of other health issues. BPA is a less invasive option for those patients. It involves inserting a catheter with a deflated balloon at its tip into a blood vessel. It is then threaded up to your heart. When it reaches the narrowed artery, it is inflated to clear the obstruction.

For this treatment, you participate in up to six two-hour sessions. To minimize the risk of side effects to your kidneys and lungs, you must wait two to three weeks between sessions. At the end of the treatment, many patients experience lower pulmonary pressure and have fewer symptoms.

Drug therapy
For CTEPH patients who are not candidates for surgery, there is only one drug approved by the FDA to treat the disease — riociguat (Adempas). It relaxes your blood vessels and lowers pulmonary pressure.