Atrial Septostomy

Atrial septostomy helps improve blood flow to your lungs. If you live with pulmonary hypertension, this minimally invasive procedure helps relieve symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath and dizziness.

At the Center for Structural Heart Disease, we offer safe and effective treatment for high blood pressure in the lungs.

Why choose Henry Ford Health System for atrial septostomy?

Our specialists are among the few doctors in the country offering minimally invasive atrial septostomy to treat severe pulmonary hypertension. This procedure allows us to lower the risk of complications from treatment while relieving your symptoms. Our interventional cardiologists specialize in treating structural heart diseases with minimally invasive techniques.

Our team includes specialists at Henry Ford’s Pulmonary Hypertension Program to take action before problems worsen. The Pulmonary Hypertension Association recognizes Henry Ford as a Center of Comprehensive Care for pulmonary hypertension. Fewer than 50 hospitals nationwide have earned this designation.

Learn more about what to expect if your doctor recommends a minimally invasive heart procedure at Henry Ford.

How does atrial septostomy help pulmonary hypertension?

Atrial septostomy can relieve pressure that builds up on the right side of your heart. With pulmonary hypertension, your heart has to work harder to pump blood through the arteries in your lungs. As a result, pressure builds in the right side of your heart, causing heart muscle there to become enlarged.

Changes to the heart can cause problems maintaining a normal heart rhythm, including an arrhythmia called atrial fibrillation. In severe cases, pulmonary hypertension may lead to heart failure.

Your pulmonary hypertension team may recommend treatment with atrial septostomy, using thin tubes called catheters. Doctors perform the procedure in our cardiac catheterization lab, which contains specialized equipment.

How does atrial septostomy work?

During the procedure, your doctor inserts the catheter into an artery. Your doctor then threads the catheter, which has a balloon tip, through your blood vessels to reach your heart.

When the catheter reaches the proper area, your doctor inflates the balloon tip. This move safely creates a small hole between the top two chambers (atria) of your heart, relieving built-up pressure. Relieving pressure helps your heart pump more effectively, improving blood flow throughout your body.

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