NHS England is funding a pioneering procedure that will improve treatment outcomes for patients with a lung disease called Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension (CTEPH).
In patients with the condition, chronic blood clots block blood flow in the arteries, raising pressure in the lung, which can cause heart failure and premature death.
Patients with CTEPH are often unable to work, and need to take oxygen all the time just to remain comfortable when resting.
A new national service, which will be carried out in Cambridge’s Royal Papworth Hospital, will offer patients a procedure called balloon pulmonary angioplasty, which uses tiny balloons to inflate and compress blockages in the blood vessels.
“It allows us to get to those hard-to-reach areas of the lung and offer CTEPH patients, the single biggest group of all patients with a diagnosis of Pulmonary Hypertension, a better chance of survival and a much-improved quality of life,” said Dr Joanna Pepke-Zaba, consultant respiratory physician at Royal Papworth Hospital.