Improving Quality of Life for People with High Blood Pressure in the Lungs
The Pulmonary Hypertension Program at Penn offers the most effective treatments available to slow the progression of pulmonary hypertension, and even reverse some of the damage to the lungs and heart.
Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a condition of abnormally high blood pressure in the lungs, typically caused by common heart and lung diseases like congestive heart failure (CHF) or emphysema. Pulmonary hypertension due to disease in the blood vessels of the lungs, pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is more rare. Just 20 years ago, patients with pulmonary hytertension and especially pulmonary arterial hypertension had very few options for the management of their disease.
Pulmonary Hypertension Requires Comprehensive Care
Successful treatment of pulmonary hytertension and pulmonary arterial hypertension requires health care professionals with a breadth and depth of expertise, sophisticated treatments, and close monitoring. The Pulmonary Hypertension Program at Penn’s Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine offers all three.
- The entire spectrum of medical and surgical treatments for pulmonary hypertension is available at Penn.
- Pulmonary hypertension physicians, thoracic surgeons, radiologists and lung pathologists at Penn are leading experts in their respective fields with a 20-year history of collaborative practice.
- The Pulmonary Hypertension clinic located at the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine is staffed by expert physicians and dedicated advanced care nurse practitioners who are specially trained to care for patients with pulmonary hypertension and dedicated to providing close outpatient follow up.
Physician Expertise is the Key to Better Outcomes
Since there are many possible causes for pulmonary hypertension, accurate diagnosis is critical. Penn physicians conduct a detailed and comprehensive diagnostic evaluation to precisely pinpoint underlying factors leading to the development of pulmonary hypertension and to assess its severity.
The pulmonary hypertension team precisely tailors treatments for every patient. Treatments include:
- Oral, inhaled, and intravenous (pump-infused) medications. These new classes of drugs have just become available in the last decade. Penn specialists are well versed in how to use and combine them to best effect and how to minimize the side effects.
- Thromboendarterectomy for patients whose pulmonary hypertension is caused by small blood clots in the pulmonary artery. Surgeons at Penn are mastering this complicated procedure and simultaneously exploring other surgical options.
- Advanced heart failure therapies. Penn’s multispecialty heart failure team offers offer a complete continuum of care as a patient’s disease evolves. This includes mechanical circulatory support options.
- Heart and/or lung transplantation for patients who qualify. The Penn Transplant Institute has an extraordinary history of outstanding outcomes for both organ and patient survival.
Experience patients can rely on
Patients can rely on excellent care at Penn because:
- Penn is internationally recognized for excellence in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with cardiopulmonary disease.
- Expertise in heart failure complements expertise in pulmonary hypertension and Penn’s Heart Failure Program is among the most active in the United States, currently following more than 8,000 heart failure patients.
Physicians with credentials that translate to the best in quality care
Penn physicians are able to provide quality care because:
- Penn’s pulmonary hypertension specialists are board certified in internal medicine, cardiovascular disease and/or pulmonary disease.
- They provide consultation and training for medical professionals around the world.
- They are regularly acknowledged for their talent by both peers and consumers and have been recognized by Best Doctors in America, Philadelphiamagazine’s “Top Docs” and America’s Top Doctors.
Active research programs put Penn at the forefront of new developments in pulmonary hypertension
Researchers at Penn are engaged in basic scientific research to investigate the origins of pulmonary hypertension and its effects on the heart.
Clinical studies include:
- NIH-sponsored trials in pulmonary arterial hypertension and right ventricular function.
- Genetic factors studies of pulmonary vascular dysfunction syndromes.
- Quality-of-life and cognitive function studies.