Few treatment options exist for patients with severe emphysema, however here at Spire Bristol Hospital we have introduced a new treatment, involving the insertion of valves into the alveoli of the lungs, which can significantly improve lung function measures and quality of life for patients with emphysema. Spire Bristol Hospital is the only private hospital performing this procedure.
| Normal lungs
||Enlarged lungs with trapped air due to emphysema
How does the new treatment work?
Lung volume reduction with valves aims to reduce the volume in an enlarged part of the lung.
The lung is divided into compartments (lobes) and the valves are placed in the airways of one of the lobes of the lung. The valves allow air and secretions to pass out through the valve but not back in. This may result in the lobe shrinking in volume and may allow more healthy parts of the lung to expand and take part in the oxygen and carbon dioxide.
Before valve treatment the patient will receive anaesthesia to make the treatment as comfortable as possible. The patient’s airways are then examined via mouth or nose through a bronchoscope (a fibre optic camera). Through the bronchoscope the patient’s airways are assessed for the presence of channels that communicate between the lobes of your lungs (collateral ventilation). If little or no collateral ventilation is detected, valves (normally 2-5mm) will be placed in the suitable lobe. The procedure takes 45 minutes.
Emphysema is included in a group of diseases called Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, COPD. Emphysema accelerates the destruction of the walls of the air sacs (alveoli) of the affected lung, reducing the elasticity of the lung tissue, meaning air is trapped in the lung. This trapped air can cause the lung to enlarge (hyperinflate), taking up more space in your chest and making breathing more difficult. This can result in dyspnea (shortness of breath) and lack of stamina.
Endobronchial coils are inserted by consultant thoracic surgeon Mr Tim Batchelor.
For further information please call our private treatment advisors on 0117 980 4008 or email email@example.com