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Pulmonary Thromboendarterectomy (PTE)

Patients with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) — which is high blood pressure caused by clotting in the blood vessels of the lungs — may be eligible for pulmonary thromboendarterectomy to remove the clots. The result of this surgery for CTEPH is often curative.

Understanding PTE Surgery for CTEPH

Janel, a Temple patient diagnosed with CTEPH
Janel, diagnosed with right-sided heart failure and CTEPH, received life-saving PTE surgery. Drs. Paul Forfia, Anjali Vaidya and William Auger discuss CTEPH, PTE, and why patients benefit from coming to Temple Health.
Janel, diagnosed with right-sided heart failure and CTEPH, received life-saving PTE surgery. Drs. Paul Forfia, Anjali Vaidya and William Auger discuss CTEPH, PTE, and why patients benefit from coming to Temple Health.

PTE surgery involves placing the patient on a heart-lung machine to keep blood circulating, then cutting through the breastbone (also called the sternum) to expose the heart and lungs.

Once this is done, the patient’s blood is cooled to 65 degrees Fahrenheit, which slows down the metabolism and allows the surgeons to periodically turn off the heart-lung machine. This gives them time to open the affected arteries and veins and remove the blood clots, as well as the scar tissue that has built up around the clots.

Once the clots are removed and the patient’s blood has been warmed to a normal temperature, the patient’s heart and lungs are returned to normal function.

Conditions Treated

Specially Trained and Skilled Team

Temple is one of the only centers on the East Coast that handles a high volume of PTE surgeries each year, and we're only 1 of 5 centers in the nation specializing in CTEPH care.

PTE is a highly complex procedure and should only be performed by skilled and practiced physicians. The specially trained surgeons and heart failure specialist of the Temple Pulmonary Hypertension, Right Heart Failure & CTEPH/PTE Program are among a select few in the country with the degree of experience required to perform and medically manage patients undergoing this advanced CTEPH surgery.

Included in this team are Paul Forfia, MD, Anjali Vaidya, MD, and Yoshiya Toyoda, MD, PhD, three of the nation’s leading CTEPH doctors. Together, they have drawn upon their diagnostic and surgical experience to successfully perform 300 PTE procedures and achieve a 97% overall success rate. Following surgery, patients are closely followed by the CTEPH team to help ensure a smooth recovery and optimal outcomes.

Learn More About PTE Surgery

Paul Forfia, MD
Dr. Paul Forfia discusses diagnosing CTEPH and how it can be treated with pulmonary thromboendarterectomy (PTE). Dr. Forfia's discussion of PTE includes the surgical process and recovery timeline.
Dr. Paul Forfia discusses diagnosing CTEPH and how it can be treated with pulmonary thromboendarterectomy (PTE). Dr. Forfia's discussion of PTE includes the surgical process and recovery timeline.

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