How CTEPH Is Treated
The primary treatment method for CTEPH is a surgical procedure known as pulmonary thromboendarterectomy (PTE), also referred to as pulmonary endarterectomy (PEA). This is considered the most effective treatment for CTEPH; however more than one-third of patients with CTEPH are not good candidates for this treatment option.
Pulmonary Thromboendarterectomy (PTE)
PTE is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of all of the clots from the arteries in your lungs. PTE results in significant improvement for patients that have been diagnosed with CTEPH and some patients may be cured. Not all patients with CTEPH are good candidates for this treatment intervention. Patients who have other medical conditions, or patients with distal lesions that are difficult to reach with surgery may not be candidates for this procedure.
Balloon Pulmonary Angioplasty (BPA)
If you are unable to tolerate PTE, your healthcare provider may recommend balloon pulmonary angioplasty (BPA). This procedure involves the use of tiny balloons that are inflated inside the pulmonary artery to widen it. This decreases the pulmonary arterial pressure so that the right side of your heart does not have to work so hard.
A lung transplant is rarely needed; however, it may be recommended for patients with advanced CTEPH when other treatment options are not working. Your healthcare provider will decide if a lung transplant is right for you.
Medication management may be recommended by your healthcare provider if you are not a candidate for surgery or if you continue to have pulmonary hypertension after having surgery. Medication therapy will help in opening, or dilating, your pulmonary arteries so that the heart does not have to work so hard. Your healthcare provider will usually recommend treatment with anticoagulants, even if you have had successful surgery. Anticoagulants, or blood thinners, will keep new blood clots from forming.
Oxygen therapy may be prescribed if you are not getting enough oxygen. Your healthcare provider will decide if supplemental oxygen is right for you.
Page last updated: September 25, 2023