Multidisciplinary Care for Pulmonary Hypertension
Norton Pulmonary Specialists is a leader in treating lung patients in Louisville and Southern Indiana. We have the experience and training to identify the cause of your pulmonary hypertension and work with you to find an effective treatment.
Pulmonary hypertension is typically caused by an underlying ailment — one that may be related only indirectly to your respiratory system. With Norton Pulmonary Specialists you gain access to the experience and viewpoints of cardiologists, urologists and other physicians from the Norton Healthcare system.
Every type of pulmonary hypertension is different, with various possible causes and different treatments. Our board-certified and fellowship-trained specialists have a wealth of experience pinpointing the cause of your pulmonary hypertension. We’ll use the latest diagnostic tools, work with a multidisciplinary team of specialists and develop a customized treatment plan for you.
What Is Pulmonary Hypertension?
Pulmonary hypertension is a type of high blood pressure that affects the arteries in your lungs and the right side of your heart, which pumps blood to the lungs. If left untreated, it could lead to heart failure.
Unlike regular hypertension, which refers to high blood pressure across the circulatory system, pulmonary hypertension can’t be measured with a blood pressure cuff.
Pulmonary hypertension occurs when the blood vessels in the lungs become narrowed or stiff. To push blood through these arteries, the right side of the heart has to work harder. Eventually, the overworked part of your heart weakens, leading to heart failure.
Often, pulmonary hypertension is a result of another disease. For example, your pulmonary hypertension may be caused by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), congenital heart disease or kidney disease, among many other causes.
Some tests we perform to diagnose pulmonary hypertension include:
- Right-heart catheterization: This minimally invasive procedure involves threading a thin catheter through your blood vessels to your right ventricle and pulmonary artery. This allows direct measurement of the blood pressure in your lungs.
- Chest X-ray: This can show whether your right ventricle is enlarged due to overexertion.
- Ultrasound: We’ll use high-frequency sound waves to see how well your heart beats, especially the right ventricle.
- Electrocardiogram (EKG): This measures your heart’s electrical rhythms and can also shed light on any enlargement of the right ventricle.
Pulmonary Hypertension Treatment
Since pulmonary hypertension is often the result of an underlying condition, your treatment likely will focus on that cause. Managing pulmonary hypertension symptoms and slowing the disease’s progress often will start with medication.
There are many pulmonary hypertension medications to achieve different results. Some will open narrowed blood vessels; others act on a substance that narrows blood vessels. Still others eliminate excess fluid from the body or help the right ventricle pump harder, etc.
It may take some time of mixing and matching to find the right combination that provides the best outcomes for you. Our pulmonologists have the experience to match your condition with the available treatments.
We regularly participate in clinical trials that give our patients access to the latest treatments for pulmonary hypertension.
We meet as a team every week to collaborate on all of our cases, to bring you comprehensive care. When you work with Norton Pulmonary Specialists, you work with a team of research specialists, physicians and medical professionals dedicated to finding the best treatment for you.