Baptist Health Louisville: Pulmonary Hypertension Treatment
Pulmonary Hypertension Treatment in Louisville, KY HealthTalks Transcript
Steven Heatherly, MD, Cardiology:
Pulmonary hypertension is when either the arteries or the veins, or both, that go to the lung develop high blood pressure. A lot of patients who have pulmonary hypertension have other medical problems that cause this. The big three are going to be heart disease, lung disease and autoimmune diseases. The initial screening test for patients who are having symptoms is a 2D echocardiogram, which is an ultrasound. With a little gel on the chest, we can take a look at the heart. If that is high, the gold standard is what’s called a right heart catheterization. That’s where I go into the right side of the heart with a catheter, and then into the artery to the lung, and we actually measure the pressures.
One thing I’m really excited about for pulmonary hypertension here at Baptist Health Louisville is that it is a one-stop shop. You can come see me. I don’t have to send you to other providers to get certain tests performed or procedures performed. If I order a 2D echocardiogram, I interpret that test for my patients. If I recommend the right heart catheterization, I do that procedure on my patients. I’m with the patient from the beginning.
After we get the values and the goals of the patient, we can get a treatment plan, which I’ll make happen. For most of our patients, that usually includes some type of medications or other procedures. If you get diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension, you will do better, have a better quality of life and breathe better the earlier in the course of your diagnosis that you get seen.
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