Pulmonary hypertension is a disease characterized by an abnormally high blood pressure in the lungs. Patients generally have exercise intolerance, which may be associated with progressive shortness of breath, fatigue, palpitations, lightheaded spells, chest discomfort, or ankle swelling.
The Maine Pulmonary Hypertension Program at Maine Medical Center is devoted to providing thorough evaluation, treatment, and follow-up for all patients with pulmonary hypertension. Patients may be seen and evaluated on an inpatient basis at the Bramhall campus of Maine Medical Center or as an outpatient at Chest Medicine Associates offices. The Pulmonary Hypertension Program serves patients with pulmonary hypertension from throughout Northern New England.
A complete evaluation of patients with pulmonary hypertension is required to provide the optimal treatment to each individual. Diagnostic services offered include:
- Experienced Pulmonary, Cardiology, Rheumatology, Endocrinology and Hepatology consultation as necessary
- Echocardiography (transthoracic and transesophageal)
- Ventilation-perfusion lung scanning
Pulmonary function testing including oxygen assessments
- Sleep testing
- Cardiopulmonary exercise testing
- Pulmonary angiography
- Chest computed tomography scanning
- Heart Catheterization for direct hemodynamic / vasodilator assessments
Therapeutic services stress coordination of care with the referring primary physician to provide high quality care for pulmonary hypertension patients. Many treatments are highly complex and require intensive patient education and ongoing follow-up with subspecialty physicians, pulmonary hypertension clinical care coordinators, and nurse specialists. Patient education and support is provided by physicians, advanced practice provider specialists, and nurse specialists. Therapies such as continuous parenteral prostanoid therapy, high-dose calcium channel blocker therapy, PAH specific medications, anticoagulation therapy, home oxygen therapy, etc., are provided and coordinated for patients as needed. When appropriate, referrals are made for Physical/Occupational Therapies, Home Health Nursing services, Pulmonary Thromboendarterectomy Surgery, and Transplantation services. Other investigational treatment options may also be available to suitable patients.
Patient Support Group
The Maine Pulmonary Hypertension Support Group meets monthly around the state of Maine. Although focused on patients who may be receiving complex therapies or awaiting lung and/or heart-lung transplantation, meetings are open to all with an interest in Pulmonary Hypertension.
For more information, contact Chest Medicine Associates at (207) 828-1122.