Questions to Ask Your Doctor about CTEPH
Making notes before your visit, as well as taking along a trusted family member or friend, can help you through the first appointment with your doctor.
- Do I need a ventilation/perfusion scan (VQ scan) to screen for chronic blood clots and an echocardiogram to screen for pulmonary hypertension?
- Do I need a heart catheterization to measure the pressures in the pulmonary arteries or other diagnostic tests to confirm the presence of chronic blood clots?
- Am I a candidate for pulmonary thromboendarterectomy (PTE)?
- What are my options for anticoagulation? What are the risks and benefits of each of these medications? How are these medications monitored?
Questions for Surgical Candidates
- What are the risks of PTE surgery?
- What is the experience of the center and the surgeon?
- How many cases do they perform/year and what are their outcomes?
- What are the possible complications from PTE surgery and am I at increased risk for any of these complications?
- How long is the expected hospital stay and what will the recovery be like?
- Are there any alternatives to PTE surgery?
- Will I need medications for pulmonary hypertension after surgery?
Questions for Patients Deemed Not to be Surgical Candidates
Get a second opinion at another center to determine if you are a candidate for PTE surgery there. Because of the specialized nature and risks of the surgery, it is very common to seek a second opinion, preferably from another specialized center if possible.
Other Questions for Your Doctor
- Am I a candidate for balloon pulmonary angioplasty?
- What medications are available to treat my pulmonary hypertension, if I am not a surgical candidate?
Reviewed and approved by the American Lung Association Scientific and Medical Editorial Review Panel. Last reviewed December 13, 2016.