Emphysema is a progressive and life-threatening lung disease, and a severe form of COPD (chronic pulmonary obstructive disease). There is no cure and patients live with severe shortness of breath that keeps them from doing simple daily activities like walking, or taking a shower, without pausing to catch their breath or resting. This extreme shortness of breath is caused when air becomes trapped in parts of the lung that are damaged by the disease. The lungs then get larger putting pressure on the healthy parts of the lungs and diaphragm.
About the treatment
During this short 30 to 60 minute procedure, a physician places three to five tiny valves in the airways to block off the damaged areas of the lungs so air no longer gets trapped there. This allows the healthier parts of the lungs to expand and relieves the pressure on the diaphragm, which decreases shortness of breath and makes breathing easier. Before this treatment the only option for these patients were highly invasive treatments such as lung volume reduction surgery or lung transplantation.
Who qualifies for this treatment?
Patients who qualify for this procedure will have a diagnosis of emphysema, which is confirmed by a CT. They will not have severe bronchiectasis, severe paraseptal emphysema or extensive fibrosis which is all on the CT review. Lastly, they are not an active smoker.
How can patients get screened for eligibility?
Patients can get screened by their pulmonologist or be referred to the Lung Institute for screening.
If you have questions or would like more information, please contact the Lung Institute at (602) 521-3180.