The Medical Center at Bowling Green to offer new treatment for COPD, Emphysema patients

Med Center Health
Med Center Health(WBKO)
Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 12:01 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - The Medical Center at Bowling Green is now the first in Southcentral Kentucky to offer a new lung valve treatment for patients with severe COPD and emphysema.

Recently approved by the FDA under their “Breakthrough Devices” status, the Zephyr Endobronchial Valve treatment represents a major advancement because it is the first minimally-invasive procedure to help emphysema sufferers breathe easier without major surgery.

Done through a simple bronchoscopy, the valve treatment improves patients’ quality of life by allowing them to breathe easier, be less short of breath, and be more active and energetic.

“The opportunity to provide a new treatment option to patients with advanced emphysema is very exciting for us. These patients are often in poor physical condition, as shortness of breath limits their quality of life despite rehabilitation and medication therapy,” said Brian Deweese, Director of Respiratory Care for Med Center Health. “The Zephyr Valve procedure offers a viable treatment option to those who are unable to undergo traditional highly invasive lung surgeries. This minimally invasive procedure has the potential to improve the quality of life for many people in this region and beyond who suffer with severe emphysema.”

“COPD is a systemic disease and for some patients, their shortness of breath significantly impacts their quality of life,” said Dr. Karan Singh, associate director for pulmonary critical care for Western Kentucky Heart, Lung and Gastroenterology. “We have patients in this area, who are doing everything right – they have quit smoking, they are taking the right medications and doing the right things, and yet their quality of life is suffering. When you are so winded that you cannot walk from your home to outside, asking you to travel for treatment is just not feasible.”

The one-time Zephyr Valve procedure is done during a simple bronchoscopy that requires no cutting or incisions.

During the procedure, valves are placed in the airways to block off the diseased parts of the lungs where air gets trapped. Keeping air from getting trapped in the diseased parts of the lung allows the healthier parts of the lung to expand and take in more air.

This results in patients being able to breathe easier and have less shortness of breath.

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