Comprehensive Care to Help Patients Breathe Easier
Pulmonary hypertension is high blood pressure in the arteries that supply blood to the lungs. The condition can cause the arteries to stiffen and thicken, which reduces blood flow through the vessels and makes the heart work harder to pump blood. This can weaken the heart muscle and lead to heart rhythm disorders (arrhythmias) and heart failure.
Pulmonary hypertension is caused by heart disease, medicines or other conditions such as lung or liver disease and connective tissue disorders — in some instances, the cause is unknown. In the initial stages, early warning signs may not be noticeable, but symptoms may develop as the disease progresses, including:
- Bluish tint to lips and skin
- Chest pain or pressure
- Dizziness or fainting
- Racing pulse or a very fast heartbeat
- Shortness of breath
- Swelling in the lower legs
Pulmonary hypertension is a complex disease that relates to or causes other conditions such as diabetes or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It requires expert, multidisciplinary care to stop its progression, relieve symptoms, and prevent damage to the heart.
Hackensack Meridian Health offers comprehensive care from a multidisciplinary team of heart and lung specialists, nurse practitioners, specially trained nurses, dietitians, physical rehabilitation therapists and others.
As an integrated health network with two academic medical centers, we participate in research to improve care for people with pulmonary hypertension and conditions that cause it. That means patients receive the latest treatments right here in New Jersey.
We offer innovative surgeries and interventional procedures at our academic medical centers, along with a wide range of coordinated services at community hospitals across the region. Hackensack Meridian Health makes expert care easily accessible, close to home.
Leading Pulmonary Hypertension Care in New Jersey
Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center offers one of only a few pulmonary hypertension programs in New Jersey — the largest in Bergen County. And Hackensack Meridian Health Ocean Medical Center, Riverview Medical Center and Raritan Bay Medical Center are recognized by U.S. News & World Report for pulmonary disease care.
Diagnosing and Treating Pulmonary Hypertension
Pulmonary hypertension can be difficult to diagnose. When symptoms are noticeable, they are similar to other lung and heart conditions.
Diagnosis usually requires more than one test, such as medical imaging to view the heart and lungs, advanced cardiac diagnostic tests like electrocardiography (ECG or EKG), or cardiac catheterization.
Diagnosis may also include pulmonary function tests to evaluate the lungs or a ventilation/perfusion scan to measure breathing and circulation throughout the lungs.
At Hackensack Meridian Health, we offer a full spectrum of pulmonary hypertension treatments, including:
- Medicines – Oral, inhaled and intravenous medications to relax or widen blood vessels to improve blood flow or reduce fluid in the body
- Oxygen therapy – Delivers oxygen to the lungs using a mask and oxygen tank
- Pulmonary and cardiac rehabilitation – Education, support and guided exercise to improve the efficiency of the heart and lungs
- Surgery – Creates an opening between the heart’s upper chambers to relieve pressure on the heart (atrial septostomy), which can lower blood pressure the lungs
Bayshore Medical Center
Hackensack University Medical Center
Jersey Shore University Medical Center
Mountainside Medical Center
Ocean Medical Center
Palisades Medical Center
Pascack Valley Medical Center
Raritan Bay Medical Center
Riverview Medical Center
Southern Ocean Medical Center