Jersey Shore University Medical Center opens Pulmonary Hypertension Center

Hackensack Meridian Jersey Shore University Medical Center recently celebrated the opening of a new, specialized Pulmonary Hypertension Center. The outpatient center, the only one of its kind in Monmouth and Ocean counties, provides patients with comprehensive services to diagnose and treat the disease.

Pulmonary hypertension is a serious, underdiagnosed disease caused by a variety of conditions. It is a type of high blood pressure present in the lungs and typically impacts older adults. Symptoms include shortness of breath and difficulty being active, chest pain, feeling faint or complete fainting, as well as heart failure symptoms, such as swelling in the ankles and legs.

The center is led by Dr. Jesus Almendral, Dr. Eric Costanzo, pulmonologist and critical care specialist at Jersey Shore University Medical Center, and Shore Pulmonary Associates.

“Early diagnosis and treatment is important, as symptoms can become more serious and life-threatening,” Almendral said. “This complex disease can also involve heart failure, weakening the heart muscle and leading to heart rhythm disorders. Early treatment can appreciably improve symptoms, enhance quality of life and reduce risk of other cardiovascular illnesses.”

The Pulmonary Hypertension Center’s multidisciplinary team of cardiologists, pulmonologists, rheumatologists, dietitians, pharmacists, specialized nurses, rehabilitation professionals, diagnostic imaging techs and other medical professionals collaborate to provide patients with appropriate therapy with medications as well as interventional and surgical treatments.

“This team approach allows us to accurately diagnose the cause and severity of the disease so that we can customize an effective plan of care for our patients,” Costanzo said. “This includes pulmonary and cardiac rehabilitation to improve the efficiency of the heart and lungs as well as guided support for patients to make lifestyle changes, like adding proper nutrition to their diet to better manage their well-being.”

“The new center opens with a focus on providing a convenient, centralized location for our patients, where they can see multiple specialists in one visit,” Vito Buccellato, president and chief hospital executive, Jersey Shore University Medical Center, said. “Located in our Amdur Pavilion, it is easily accessible through its outpatient entrance with available valet parking and a short walk to the center. This is a great new service for our community.”

For many years, the academic medical center has been one of the leading cardiovascular service providers in the state, performing thousands of diagnostic, interventional and surgical procedures annually. Jersey Shore University Medical Center provides the only open and minimally invasive heart surgery program in Monmouth and Ocean counties, as well as cardiac technology and treatment options unavailable anywhere else in the region.

“We continue to add advanced technologies, convenient amenities and clinical experts to our extensive range of healthcare services at Jersey Shore,” Dr. Kenneth Sable, regional president, Southern Market, Hackensack Meridian Health, said. “The new center is another great example of how we are meeting the needs of our community.”