PTE: Pulmonary Thromboendarterectomy Surgery for Pulmonary Hypertension

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

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

Developed here at UC San Diego Health, 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 Health for PTE?

Expert Evaluation

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

Unmatched Volumes and Outcomes

UC San Diego Health 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 around the world are often treated successfully at our center.

Center of Excellence

Center of Excellence

Our 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 (more than 3,000 to date).

Over the last several years the program has maintained a mortality rate of less than 1 percent, with very low morbidity and excellent hemodynamic outcomes. The procedure can reverse heart failure and is considered more effective than lung transplantation.

At the 2011 Society of Thoracic Surgeons meeting in San Diego, Michael M. Madani, MD, reported UC San Diego Health’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.

Appointments & Referrals


Our Specialists

  • Meet our Pulmonary Vascular Disease Team