Questions to Ask Your Doctor about CTEPH | American Lung Association

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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?

    This content was developed in partnership with the CHEST Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the American College of Chest Physicians.


    Approved by Scientific and Medical Editorial Review Panel. Last reviewed December 13, 2016.

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