El Camino Hospital has performed the new lung valve treatment for patients with severe COPD/emphysema in California.

Lung valve is the first Food and Drug Administration (FDA) -approved device to help emphysema patients breathe easier without major surgery.

COPD /Emphysema is an incurable lung disease involving damage to the air sacs in the lungs restricting oxygen flow and constant discomfort in patients.

According to a recent study by American Lung Association, COPD is common in more than 15 million Americans, of those 3.5 million of the patients have emphysema.

Despite medications, over one million emphysema patients continue to show symptoms of hyperinflation, in which air gets trapped in the lungs and prevents new air from coming in.

Inefficient breathing impacts normal activities, like eating, walking. There are few treatment options for most patients with emphysema and there is no cure.

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El Camino Hospital Interventional Pulmonology Program medical director Dr. Ganesh Krishna said: “As one of the first hospitals to offer bronchoscopic lung volume reduction, we are excited to be at the forefront of minimally-invasive lung care.

“This procedure has the potential to improve breathing, lung function and quality of life for so many people living with emphysema and COPD in California and the Western United States.”

The previously known treatments for this condition were highly invasive which included lung volume reduction surgery or lung transplantation.

After multiple clinical trials, the FDA recently approved the Zephyr Endobronchial Valve treatment under their “Breakthrough Devices” status.

The Zephyr Endobronchial Valve treatment was approved by FDA in 2018. It is said to be one of the least invasive procedures. It is a one-time procedure that requires no cutting or incisions.

The procedure is done during a simple bronchoscopy where tiny valves are placed in the airways to block off the diseased parts of the lungs where air gets trapped.

The treatment allows the healthier parts of the lungs to expand and take in more air..

The Zephyr Valve has been used to treat more than 15,000 patients worldwide since 2007.

After the FDA approval, El Camino Hospital has performed the second highest number of Zephyr Endobronchial Valve procedures in US.