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Zephyr lung valve treatment avoids major surgery and improves quality of life

DANVILLE, Pa. – Patients with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and emphysema can now undergo a minimally invasive procedure at Geisinger, known as the Zephyr valve treatment, to help them breathe a little easier.
 
“Before we had this technology, when our patients were still symptomatic despite optimal medical management, their only option was to have lung transplantation or surgery for lung volume reduction, where bad parts of the lung are removed,” says said Ngoc-Tram Ha, MD, Geisinger director of interventional pulmonology. “The morbidity and mortality rates in those surgeries can be significantly higher than in less-invasive procedures, such as endobronchial valves. The Zephyr valves create better air redistribution in the lungs in a minimally invasive way, allowing patients to breathe more effectively and have a better quality of life.”
 
More than 15 million Americans have COPD, and of those, more than 20% have emphysema. Severe disease can cause air to become trapped in parts of the lung that are extremely damaged, preventing new air from getting in. Trapped air makes the lungs larger and puts pressure on the diaphragm, making it difficult to breathe or catch one’s breath. There are few treatment options for these patients and there is no cure.
 
With the Zephyr valve treatment, a physician uses a bronchoscope to place endobronchial valve devices in the airways of the lungs. The valves divert air into less-diseased parts of the lung while deflating the worst parts of the lung, taking pressure off the diaphragm and making it easier to breathe. 
 
Zephyr received breakthrough device designation and FDA approval on the valve treatment system in 2018.

Visit Geisinger’s website to find a lung doctor or for more information on pulmonary care.

 

About Geisinger
Geisinger is among the nation’s leading providers of value-based care, serving 1.2 million people in urban and rural communities across Pennsylvania. Founded in 1915 by philanthropist Abigail Geisinger, the nonprofit system generates $10 billion in annual revenues across 126 care sites — including 10 hospital campuses — and Geisinger Health Plan, with more than half a million members in commercial and government plans. Geisinger College of Health Sciences educates more than 5,000 medical professionals annually and conducts more than 1,400 clinical research studies. With 26,000 employees, including 1,700 employed physicians, Geisinger is among Pennsylvania’s largest employers with an estimated economic impact of $15 billion to the state’s economy. On March 31, 2024, Geisinger became the first member of Risant Health, a new nonprofit charitable organization created to expand and accelerate value-based care across the country. Learn more at geisinger.org or follow on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and X.

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Media inquiries

Mike McMullen
Senior Communications Specialist

814-502-8998
mmmcmullen@geisinger.edu
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