Ambulatory pulmonary artery pressure monitoring is a way to help your health care provider manage your heart failure. It involves having a procedure to place (implant) a permanent wireless pressure sensor inside your pulmonary artery in your chest. Your pulmonary artery carries blood from the right side of your heart to your lungs. Increased pressure in this artery is an early sign that your heart failure has gotten worse.
You may need ambulatory pulmonary artery pressure monitoring if you have shortness of breath or fatigue after activity and have been hospitalized for heart failure in the past year. The wireless sensor sends pressure readings to your health care provider every day. Your health care provider will use these readings to adjust your medicines or change your treatment plan as needed. This monitoring may improve your treatment and symptoms and may reduce the need to be hospitalized.
Tell a health care provider about:
Any allergies you have.
All medicines you are taking, including vitamins, herbs, eye drops, creams, and over-the-counter medicines.
Any problems you or family members have had with anesthetic medicines.
Any blood disorders you have.
Any surgeries you have.
Any medical conditions you have.
Whether you are pregnant or may be pregnant.
What are the risks?
Allergic reactions to medicines or dyes.
Damage to nearby structures or organs.
Abnormal heart rhythm.
Problems with the sensor or movement of the sensor.
A blood clot that forms in a vein and travels to your lungs or brain.
What happens before the procedure?
- Ask your health care provider about:
Changing or stopping your regular medicines. This is especially important if you are taking diabetes medicines or blood thinners.
Taking medicines such as aspirin and ibuprofen. These medicines can thin your blood. Check with your health care provider to see if you should take them.
Taking over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, herbs, and supplements.
Follow instructions from your health care provider about eating or drinking restrictions.
Do not use any products that contain nicotine or tobacco for at least 4 weeks before the procedure. These products include cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and vaping devices, such as e-cigarettes. If you need help quitting, ask your health care provider.
- Ask your health care provider what steps will be taken to help prevent infection. These may include:
Removing hair at the procedure site.
Washing skin with a germ-killing soap.
Plan to have a responsible adult take you home from the hospital or clinic.
If you will be going home right after the procedure, plan to have a responsible adult care for you for the time you are told. This is important.
What happens during the procedure?
An IV will be inserted into one of your veins.
- You will be given:
A medicine to help you relax (sedative).
A medicine to numb an area in your groin or neck (local anesthetic).
A small incision will be made over a blood vessel that leads back to your heart (vein).
A long, thin tube (catheter) with the sensor attached at the end will be inserted into the vein. Next, it will be advanced into the right side of your heart and then to the pulmonary artery.
Imaging studies will be done to check the position of the sensor.
The sensor will be placed inside your pulmonary artery.
The catheter will be removed, and pressure will be placed over the incision to prevent bleeding and bruising.
A dressing (bandage) will be placed over the incision.
The procedure may vary among health care providers and hospitals.
What can I expect after the procedure?
Your blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, and blood oxygen level will be monitored until you leave the hospital or clinic.
You will also be monitored to make sure you do not have any abnormal heart rhythms.
If you were given a sedative during the procedure, it can affect you for several hours. Do not drive or operate machinery until your health care provider says that it is safe.
Follow these instructions at home:
- Follow instructions from your health care provider about sending information from the sensor. You may be instructed to send information about your pulmonary artery pressure every morning using your patient’s electronic system.
The electronic system is stored inside a padded pillow. Each morning you will lie down on the padded pillow to send your pressure reading. The electronic system will get information from the sensor and send it to your health care provider.
If you need a change in your medicine, your health care provider’s office will contact you.
If you need to have an MRI, be sure to tell your health care providers that you have an ambulatory pulmonary artery sensor.
Your sensor will not set off metal detectors at airports or stores.
- Follow instructions from your health care provider about how to take care of your incision. Make sure you:
Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after you change your bandage (dressing). If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer.
Change your dressing as told by your health care provider.
Do not take baths, swim, or use a hot tub until your health care provider approves. Ask your health care provider if you may take showers.
- Check your incision area every day for signs of infection. Check for:
Redness, swelling, or pain.
Fluid or blood.
Pus or a bad smell.
Take over-the-counter and prescription medicines only as told by your health care provider.
Return to your normal activities as told by your health care provider. Ask your health care provider what activities are safe for you.
Do not use any products that contain nicotine or tobacco. These products include cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and vaping devices, such as e-cigarettes. If you need help quitting, ask your health care provider.
Keep all follow-up visits. This is important.
Contact a health care provider if:
- You have:
A fever or chills.
Pain near your incision.
Any bleeding or signs of infection.
- You feel:
Like your heart is beating too fast or skipping beats.
Short of breath or dizzy.
Get help right away if:
You have chest pain.
You have difficulty breathing.
These symptoms may represent a serious problem that is an emergency. Do not wait to see if the symptoms will go away. Get medical help right away. Call your local emergency services (911 in the U.S.). Do not drive yourself to the hospital.
Ambulatory pulmonary artery pressure monitoring is a way to help your health care provider manage your heart failure. It involves having a procedure to place (implant) a permanent wireless pressure sensor inside your chest.
To place the sensor in your artery, your health care provider will use a catheter that moves the sensor through a vein that goes to your heart.
This monitoring may improve your treatment, reduce symptoms, and reduce the need to be hospitalized for your heart condition.
You will learn how to use an electronic device to send pressure readings to your health care provider.
This information is not intended to replace advice given to you by your health care provider. Make sure you discuss any questions you have with your health care provider.