Having a unique partnership with the University of Louisville, UofL Health is able to combine education, research and clinical care while using cutting-edge technologies, resources and therapies other health care organizations may not have available. This means UofL Health can provide our patients with the highest level of care possible with the latest advancements in health care.
In this regard, UofL Health now provides an advanced treatment option for patients with COPD/emphysema in the form of Bronchoscopic Lung Volume Reduction (BLVR) using The Zephyr® Valve System.
Emphysema is a type of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) characterized by progressive destruction of lung tissue leading to worsening shortness of breath and poor quality of life. May patients of emphysema also experience progressive air trapping in the lungs that worsens their symptoms further. BLVR is a minimally invasive procedure, which requires no incisions and is performed using bronchoscopy. During this procedure, one-way valves are placed in a selective part called the “lobe” of the lung to allow deflation of that lobe and leading to a reduction in air trapping. In clinical studies, patients treated with Zephyr Valves were shown to breathe easier, be more active and energetic, and enjoy a significantly improved quality of life when compared to patients treated with standard therapy alone.
Patients can be considered eligible for evaluation for BLVR if:
- They have an established diagnosis of COPD/ Emphysema
- Are optimized on usual COPD medical therapy and have documented compliance
- Have significant air trapping as shown by residual volume (RV) of greater 150% predicted on pulmonary function tests (PFTs)
- Have quit cigarette smoking completely
- Are willing to undergo bronchoscopy
- Have completed or are willing to participate in pulmonary rehab
A comprehensive evaluation including pulmonary function testing (PFTs), a six-minute walk test, a CT scan and other testing is performed to make sure this treatment is right for you or your loved one.