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Pulmonary Thromboendarterectomy (PTE) Surgery for Pulmonary Hypertension

PTE surgery is used to treat chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH).

UC San Diego Health System is the worldwide leader for pulmonary thromboendarterectomy (PTE), also known as pulmonary endarterectomy (PEA).

Developed here at UC San Diego, PTE is a complex surgery that removes deadly chronic blood clots from major blood vessels in the lungs that cannot be treated with medication. Without treatment, these clots block off blood flow to the lungs, cause damaging vascular changes and pulmonary hypertension. This condition can lead to heart failure and death.

For individuals who are not candidates for PTE surgery, our team also offers balloon pulmonary angioplasty and medical therapy.

Why Choose UC San Diego for PTE?

Expert Evaluation

Misdiagnosis or failure to recognize CTEPH is common, leaving many people out of breath with a deadly, but treatable, disease. UC San Diego specialists are leaders in evaluating patients with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension.

Unmatched Volumes and Outcomes

UC San Diego boasts more successful PTEs than any other medical center and the lowest postoperative mortality rate, worldwide. Patients with thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension who have not received appropriate diagnosis and treatment at other centers are often treated successfully at our center.

Center of Excellence

Center of Excellence

UC San Diego’s PTE program is a nationally designated Center of Excellence by the American College of Chest Physicians.

We have the highest success rate in the world for pulmonary thromboendarterectomy – performing more PTEs than any other medical center (over 3,000 to date).

Over the last several years the program has maintained a mortality rate of less than one percent, with very low morbidity and excellent hemodynamic outcomes. This is the lowest known postoperative mortality rate worldwide. The procedure can reverse heart failure and is considered more effective than lung transplantation.

People with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension come to UC San Diego Health System from around the world to benefit from the most progressive and advanced treatment options available.

At the 2011 Society of Thoracic Surgeons meeting in San Diego, Michael M. Madani, MD, reported UC San Diego Health System’s superior clinical outcomes (STS: Lung Emboli Surgery Safer). This is a testament not only to the surgical expertise of the PTE program specialists, but also to the multidisciplinary team approach developed for the management of this complex and demanding disease.

See if you're a candidate for PTE.

Contact Us

  • 858-657-7100

Our Team

3,000th Patient Undergoes Lifesaving Heart and Lung Surgery


Doctors at UC San Diego Health System performed their 3,000th pulmonary thromboendarterectomy (PTE), a lifesaving surgery to clear the lung's arteries of scar-like tissue that robs patients of their ability to breathe.