How We Diagnose & Treat Pulmonary Hypertension

If you have signs or symptoms of pulmonary hypertension, you'll have an extensive evaluation by our team of medical and surgical experts.

  • Your initial visit will involve a series of diagnostic tests to confirm your diagnosis, assess the severity of your disease, and rule out other causes of your symptoms.
  • These tests include blood testing, electrocardiography, echocardiography, heart MRI, cardiopulmonary stress testing, lung scans, respiratory function tests, chest CT.
  • Most of our patients need a cardiac catheterization with acute vasodilator testing to customize a plan of care.

Based on the results of your initial assessment, your treatment for pulmonary hypertension may include medications and surgery. We may also make diet and exercise recommendations. Our medical and surgical teams collaborate to provide every treatment option available to you.

Medical Therapies

The number of medications for pulmonary arterial hypertension has increased significantly during the past decade. As our understanding of pulmonary hypertension increases, new treatment options are being developed at a rapid pace.

  • Today there are oral, inhaled, intravenous, and subcutaneous medications available.
  • All of these treatments are available to our patients as indicated.
  • You may also benefit from supplementary oxygen therapy.

Interventional Treatments

In some cases of pulmonary hypertension that are refractory to medical therapy, we offer a cardiac catheterization procedure called an atrial septostomy. By creating a hole in the wall between the upper chambers of the heart, we can permit improved cardiac output while awaiting lung transplantation.

We also offer a relatively novel procedure called balloon pulmonary angioplasty (BPA) for patients with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension who are inoperable in conjunction with medical therapy.

Surgical Treatments

Depending on what type of pulmonary hypertension you have, surgery may help you.

  • Pulmonary thromboendarterectomy. If you have chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension, you may be able to have an innovative surgery called pulmonary thromboendarterectomy to clear your pulmonary arteries of clots. Our hospital is one of the few U.S. centers performing this surgery.
  • POTTs shunt. For select patients with extremely high pulmonary arterial pressure who are not lung transplant candidates, we can offer a procedure called a POTTS shunt which is a surgical connection between the pulmonary artery and aorta to provide improved cardiac output.
  • Lung transplant. Sometimes with pulmonary arterial hypertension, when medication alone is not enough, our patients receive a lung transplant evaluation with our team of lung transplant experts. NewYork-Presbyterian has one of the most active lung transplant programs in the United States, with survival rates surpassing national benchmarks. Our researchers are world leaders looking for ways to eliminate the need for immunosuppression after transplantation.
cteph-pte photo

These photos depict the clot (thromboendarterectomy specimen) that was removed from a patient’s lung circulation through a specialized surgery called pulmonary thromboendarterectomy.


For Pulmonary Hypertension

call 212-305-4436

For Pulmonary Thromboendarterectomy (PTE)

call 212-305-5156