Temple’s PTE Program Celebrates Milestone
Philadelphia, PA –To hear it described, pulmonary thromboendarterectomy (PTE) surgery may sound like something out of a science fiction novel. But, for patients it can be life altering and lifesaving. Temple University Hospital’s PTE Program recently completed its 50th PTE procedure, less than three years since its inception.
Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) is a rare and often fatal form of elevated blood pressure in the lungs resulting from a blood vessel that has been blocked by a clot for a long period of time.
“Those blood clots block blood flow through the lungs and can cause a variety of serious problems including right-sided heart failure and shortness of breath,” says Paul Forfia, MD, Director of the Pulmonary Hypertension/Right Heart Failure and Pulmonary Thromboendarterectomy Program at Temple University Hospital. “CTEPH is a debilitating and potentially life threatening condition. In addition, true expertise in this condition is hard to come by, even at major medical centers throughout the country.”
Sixty-four-year-old Kevin Dillon is a Marine Corps veteran from Willow Grove, PA, and was diagnosed with CTEPH decades after he had blood clots in his legs break off and travel to his lungs. “They were causing strain on my heart,” says Dillon. “My pulmonologist said this is a problem and we’re going to have to do something about it. I was referred to Temple and Dr. Forfia, who assessed my condition and told me that I was going to need to have a surgery called PTE.” Soon after, Dillon became one of Temple’s first PTE patients. Continue>
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