Clevland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital First to Offer Lung Valve Treatment for COPD Patients on the Treasure Coast

VERO BEACH, Fla. (December 12, 2019) – Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital announced today that is now offering a new procedure designed to help patients with COPD or advanced emphysema breathe easier. The procedure, which involves placing endobronchial valves in patients’ lungs, was recently FDA-approved. Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital is the first hospital on the Treasure Coast to offer this new treatment option for patients with advanced respiratory conditions.

The treatment is performed during a bronchoscopy, a procedure that allows a doctor to examine the inside of the lungs, including the bronchi, which are the main airways into the lungs. Depending on the severity of the case, an average of one to four tiny valves are placed in the airways to block off the diseased parts of the lungs. The valves reduce hyperinflation by preventing air from being trapped in the diseased area of the lung and allowing healthier parts of the lung to take in more air, lifting pressure off the diaphragm.

“This advanced lung treatment offers patients living with COPD an opportunity to significantly improve their overall quality of life,” said Diego Maldonado, M.D., Pulmonologist at CCIRH. “We are excited to be the first hospital in our area to provide this new treatment at our Pulmonary Medicine Department. This is a perfect example of Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital striving to provide patients with the latest innovation and services.”

COPD refers to a group of lung diseases including chronic bronchitis and emphysema, a lung disease developed after years of smoking or due to the inherited disorder called alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency. Patients suffering from COPD may experience coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness and ongoing fatigue. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis affect approximately 23 million people in the United States, with emphysema most commonly found in men between the ages of 50 and 70.

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