Jennifer Holroyd - endobronchial valve treatment

Jennifer Holroyd has suffered from emphysema for the last two decades. Since having Endobronchial Valve treatment (ELVR) at Spire Leeds Hospital under the care of Mr Kostas Papagiannopoulos, she has been able to enjoy activities with her family and friends once again.

"I'm able to breathe properly and more deeply"
Jennifer Holroyd, Gomersal

Jennifer, 68 from Gomersal, suffered from asthma since birth, and from emphysema for the past 20 years. She experienced shortness of breath, which affected every aspect of her life. Even walking a short distance was difficult, and climbing a flight of stairs was impossible.

Developed over the past 10 years in close collaboration with leading clinicians in respiratory medicine, less than 3,000 Endobronchial Valve Treatment (ELVR) procedures have been performed in Europe. Spire Leeds Hospital is one of just a handful of private hospitals in the country currently offering the treatment.

“Every year around 900,000 Britons are diagnosed with lung conditions such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis which leaves them breathless,” said Mr Kostas Papagiannopoulos, consultant thoracic surgeon at Spire Leeds Hospital and one of the UK’s most experienced ELVR surgeons. “This is a minimally invasive treatment for emphysema. It’s helping some patients to breathe better, walk further and enjoy a more active lifestyle.”

Up until now, invasive surgery has been the only surgical option for people with this condition so Jennifer was pleased to learn about the new treatment option. Significant numbers of patients are unsuitable to undergo lung volume reduction surgery and as a result are sometimes told that the only course of action is medical management of their condition. Now there is hope for many of those who thought their condition was untreatable.  

Treatment involves using a small flexible camera, which is passed into the lungs via the nose or mouth. Between two and five small one-way ‘endobronchial valves’ are then placed into the lung wind pipes to allow air to escape from the over-inflated part of the lung.

The procedure takes between 30 minutes to one hour. Following treatment patients stay in hospital between one to four days.

With the valves in place, when a patient exhales, the air is able to move through the valves and out of the lung compartment. When the patient inhales, the valve closes and blocks air from entering that lung compartment.

Commenting on the treatment three months after the procedure, Jennifer, a retired practice secretary for a GP and grandmother to two girls, said, “I’m able to breathe properly and more deeply and can now climb a flight of stairs without getting short of breath. That’s a huge difference for me. Although it’s early days, my quality of life has already improved.  I’m especially looking forward to spending more time with my family as I’ve missed out on so much with my grandchildren and I’m also hoping to return to my beloved gardening.”

Mr Papagiannopoulos added, “This treatment has improved Jennifer’s lung function and ability to breathe enabling her to regain a better quality of life and to carry out daily routines without the fear of constantly needing her medications. The positive effects of the treatment are almost immediate.

He continues, “As it does not involve invasive surgery there are fewer ‘surgical risks’, no surgical cuts, quicker recovery time and the effects can be almost immediate. The procedure provides another option for the treatment of some cases of a very pervasive disease.”

Jennifer Holroyd with Mr Kostas Papagiannopoulos

Mrs Jennifer Holroyd with Mr Kostas Papagiannopoulos

Mr Kostas Papagiannopoulos, consultant thoracic surgeon at Spire Leeds Hospital treated Jennifer Holroyd.

Read about Mr Kostas Papagiannopoulos

Share your story

If you would like to share your patient experience at Spire Leeds Hospital please call us on 0113 218 5967 or email

Find a treatment, test or scan available at:


Find a consultant

Use one or more of the options below to search for a consultant and link through to view their Spire profile.


Let us help you

fill out this form and we will get back to you:

Please select a hospital

We can call you

Please enter your details below and we will call you back.

What is the aim of your enquiry?

Please select a hospital

If we are unable to reach you by phone, please include your email address so that we can get in touch...

Customer Service Adviser0113 218 5967

© Spire Healthcare Group plc (2016)