Spectrum Health offers new valve treatment for emphysema

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The one-time procedure places an average of four tiny Zephyr valves into the airways to block diseased parts of the lungs. Courtesy Pulmonx Corp.

Spectrum Health introduced a new treatment for emphysema, a severe form of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

The health system made the announcement last week, saying the treatment uses the Zephyr Valve System, an FDA-approved minimally invasive procedure requiring no incisions or cutting.

“We are proud to offer this new treatment because our severe COPD and emphysema patients struggle with each breath,” said Dr. Gustavo Cumbo-Nacheli, an interventional pulmonologist at Spectrum Health. “Until now, the treatment options for these patients were highly invasive procedures. Zephyr has the potential to be a life-changer for many patients.”

The one-time procedure is done during a simple 30- to 60-minute bronchoscopy that requires no incision. It places an average of four tiny Zephyr valves into the airways to block diseased parts of the lungs. This reduces hyperinflation of the damaged areas and allows healthier lung tissue to expand and ease pressure off the diaphragm.

“This results in patients being less short of breath and having an easier time breathing,” Cumbo-Nacheli said. “Clinical studies show that patients treated with Zephyr valves enjoy a significantly improved quality of life compared to untreated patients.”

Emphysema is a progressive and life-threatening lung disease for which there is no cure. More than 15 million Americans suffer from COPD, and 3.5 million of those patients have emphysema, according to the American Lung Association.

Those interested can learn more or see if patients qualify for the Zephyr treatment by calling (616) 504-2988.

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