Pulmonary artery stenosis is a narrowing (stenosis) that occurs in the pulmonary artery. The pulmonary artery is a large artery that sends oxygen-poor blood into the lungs to receive oxygen. Narrowings can happen in the main pulmonary artery and also in the right or left pulmonary artery branches.
This narrowing makes it hard for blood to reach the lungs to pick up oxygen. Due to the narrowing, the pressure in the right ventricle and becomes high and this can damage the heart muscle.
Pulmonary artery stenosis often occurs in with other congenital heart defects such as:
Tetralogy of Fallot
Pulmonary valve stenosis
Patent ductus arteriosus
Symptoms of pulmonary artery stenosis?
The patient may not experience any symptoms is the narrowing of the artery is less than 50 %. However, if the narrowing is more than 50%, the patient may experience any of the following symptoms:
Shortness of breath
Heavy or rapid breathing
Rapid heart rate
Swelling in the feet, ankles, face, eyelids, or abdomen
Pulmonary artery stenting can often be treated using a balloon or an expandable metal mesh tube, called a stent. This procedure is carried out under a general anaesthetic in the cardiac catheterisation laboratory, where x-rays can be used to guide the procedure.
The stent/balloon is passed through a long tube (catheter) from the femoral artery at the top of the leg up to the heart. The stent/balloon is positioned across the narrowing and expanded to widen it.
A general anaesthesia is used for pulmonary artery stenting procedure. There will be an anaesthetist and anaesthetic nurse with you during the procedure to put you to sleep. They will monitor you throughout the procedure to ensure that you are comfortable. Typically the procedure takes about 1 – 1.5 hours to complete.
You will need to take things easy over the next couple of days. There will be a small dressing over the site, and it is important to keep it clean and dry. The nurse on the ward will put a new dressing over the area on the day of discharge. There may be a small bruise, and the site may even be tender over the next couple of days. An ice pack may be useful, and your doctor may prescribe a mild pain killer.
You will need to take aspirin for six months after the procedure. Aspirin will help to prevent small blood clots from forming around the device. You will be given a prescription for aspirin before you are discharged home from the hospital.
You may need to take antibiotics before and after dental treatments for six months after the procedure.
Your will receive an appointment for follow-up about 6 months after the procedure.