Pulmonary hypertension cannot be cured, but treatments can reduce your symptoms and help you manage your condition.

If the cause is identified and treated early, it may be possible to prevent permanent damage to your pulmonary arteries, which are the blood vessels that supply your lungs.

Treating underlying conditions

If pulmonary hypertension is caused by another condition, such as a heart or lung problem, treatments will focus on the underlying condition.

If pulmonary hypertension is caused by blood clots that block the pulmonary arteries, you may be offered anticoagulant medicines to prevent more clots forming. 

You may also be offered an operation known as a pulmonary endarterectomy.

Specialist centres for pulmonary arterial hypertension

If you have pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), you'll be referred to a centre that specialises in treating this form of the condition. There are 7 centres in England and 1 in Scotland.

They are:

Treatments for pulmonary arterial hypertension

There are many treatments for pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Which treatment or combination of treatments you'll be offered will depend on a number of factors, including what's causing PAH and the severity of your symptoms.

Treatments include:

There are also a number of specialist treatments for PAH that help relax the arteries in the lungs and reduce the blood pressure in the lungs.

These medicines slow the progression of PAH, and may even reverse some of the damage to the heart and lungs.

Other treatments that are sometimes used are:

You can find detailed information about these treatments for pulmonary hypertension on the Pulmonary Hypertension Association UK website.

Surgery and procedures for pulmonary hypertension

Some people with pulmonary hypertension may need surgery. The 3 types of surgery currently used are:

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has guidance on balloon pulmonary angioplasty for chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension.

Pulmonary Hypertension Association UK

Pulmonary Hypertension Association UK is a charity for people with pulmonary hypertension.

The website provides further information and advice about all aspects of the condition, including living with pulmonary hypertension, and support for family and friends.

Page last reviewed: 1 August 2019
Next review due: 1 August 2019