Emphysema is a type of chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), which means it is a chronic disease that causes difficulty breathing. Emphysema causes gradual damage to the air sacs (alveoli) in the lungs and the leading cause is smoking. In the past, patients looking for relief from emphysema had to endure lung volume reduction surgery or, in some cases, a lung transplant.
Thanks to doctors at the Temple Lung Center, Bronchoscopic Lung Volume Reduction (BLVR) provides patients an alternative to surgery. The newly-approved FDA treatment has been lauded as a turning point in treating severe emphysema. The minimally invasive procedure is performed by the implantation of the endobronchial valve with a bronchoscope (a tool that lets doctors work on your lungs without cutting or stitches). The valves block off the diseased parts of the lung to allow healthier regions to expand and function better.
The result is a reduction of air trapped in the lungs (often referred to as "hyperinflation"), which is responsible for labored and difficult breathing for emphysema patients.
Following the procedure, which lasts up to an hour, patients remain in the hospital for several days for observation and to rule out any complications.
Patients who have undergone the treatment have reported the following benefits:
- Easier breathing
- The ability to exercise more and walk further
- Increased activity and participation in more daily activities
- A better quality of life with more energy
When to contact a doctor?
If you're experiencing signs or symptoms of emphysema, schedule an appointment or call 800-TEMPLE-MED (800-836-7536) today.
Learn more about Temple Lung Center doctors who diagnose and treat emphysema.