Transcatheter Potts Shunt

For selected patients with progressive right heart failure caused by pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), the placement of a transcatheter Potts shunt can provide symptomatic relief.

Board-certified physicians at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) have extensive clinical and research experience in the New England area with this technology. This experience and their collaboration with a multidisciplinary team of specialists through the Advanced Heart Failure/Cardiomyopathy Program enable our specialists to handle the most complicated cases, with a range of treatment options that improve the lives of cardiac patients throughout the world.

With 47,000 outpatient visits each year, the Heart & Vascular Center is one of the largest in the United States, treating over 7,000 inpatients and performing more than 8,000 procedures annually at our state-of-the-art Shapiro Cardiovascular Center.

Transcatheter Potts Shunt Topics

What Happens During a Transcatheter Potts Shunt Procedure?

In a transcatheter Potts shunt procedure, a shunt (a small passage which allows movement of fluid from one part of the body to another) is created between the left pulmonary artery and the descending aorta. Through a catheter and guided by X-ray, a tract is created in which to insert a covered stent between these two vessels. This covered stent—anchored by the vessel walls and surrounding tissue—serves as the shunt. The goal is to improve right ventricular function and restoring normal blood flow.

Why Have a Transcatheter Potts Shunt?

The Potts procedure is an alternative for selected patients with severe pulmonary hypertension and right ventricular failure. It may have benefits in improving right ventricular function and restoring normal blood flow.

What You Should Expect

The Heart & Vascular Center is located in the Shapiro Cardiovascular Center, across the street from BWH's main 75 Francis Street entrance. The Heart & Vascular Center brings together the full range of services in one location, fostering seamless and coordinated care for all cardiovascular patients.

Prior to the procedure, you will likely be scheduled for a visit to the Watkins Clinic in the Shapiro Cardiovascular Center for preoperative information and tests.

The day of your procedure, your care will be provided by cardiologists, anesthesiologists and nurses who specialize in the transcatheter Potts shunt procedure. After your procedure, you will recover in the post-surgical care unit where you will receive comprehensive care by an experienced surgical and nursing staff.

During your surgery, family and friends can wait in the Shapiro Family Center where staff members will provide surgery updates.

Multidisciplinary Care

In addition to our cardiovascular medicine specialists, patients also benefit from the teamwork of interventional cardiologists, cardiovascular imaging experts and radiologists, and anesthesiologists, all experts in cardiovascular disorders. They work alongside nurses, physician assistants, physical therapists, dietitians and social workers to achieve outstanding outcomes for our patients.


Visit the Kessler Health Education Library in the Bretholtz Center for Patients and Families to access computers and knowledgeable staff.

Access a complete directory of patient and family services.

Learn about the Watkins Clinic in the Shapiro Center for pre-operative information and tests.

Learn more about Brigham and Women's Hospital

For over a century, a leader in patient care, medical education and research, with expertise in virtually every specialty of medicine and surgery.

About BWH