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"Umbrella" Valve Provides Potential Alternative to Lung Surgery

A new umbrella-like valve may help patients with emphysema breathe easier and may ultimately provide a noninvasive alternative to lung reduction surgery. // In a new study presented at CHEST 2006, the 72nd annual international scientific assembly of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), the IBV? Valve, a nonsurgical, investigational device, was shown to be safe and effective for patients with emphysema.

Emphysema — a subtype of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) — is a progressive and debilitating lung disorder, characterized by irreversible airflow obstruction. Current management for emphysema includes medication and/or supplemental oxygen, pulmonary rehabilitation, and, in rare cases, lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS) to remove the most diseased portions of the lung.

“The IBV? Valve is similar in concept to LVRS in that it aims to make the lungs work more efficiently, thereby decreasing shortness of breath,” said the study’s lead author Daniel H. Sterman, MD, FCCP, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA. “Unlike lung reduction surgery, valve treatment has fewer complications and a shorter hospital stay. For example, most valve-treated patients have a one-night observational hospital stay while surgical patients average a week or more in the hospital.” The one-way IBV? Valve limits ventilation in diseased areas of the lungs and redirects ventilation to the remaining healthier portions of the lung while allowing for normal clearance of secretions.

In a multicenter preliminary pilot study, Dr. Sterman and researchers from the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, and six additional US medical centers examined the safety and effectiveness of the IBV? Valve on patients with severe upper-lobe emphysema. Over a 27-month period, 520 valves were implanted in 75 patients across the nine medical centers. The valves were implanted in the upper lobes o
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