She's right. Pulmonx got the Zephyr valves approved by the FDA nearly two years ago now, and they've been used in the US since then. The Spiration valves were also approved for the endobronchial procedure in early 2018. Valves, vents, coils, steam and glue have been used in clinical trials since about 2003 in the US, but these are the first to be approved for use by the FDA. They've been using them in Europe, Australia and other parts of the world for about 15 years.
One of the things they discovered is that while they work best on people who have more damage to the upper lobes than the lower, even people with evenly distributed damage can benefit, if they qualify in other respects. There are a number of sites around the country that are doing the procedure. If you're being tested, one of the questions I'd ask is how many have they done and what is their success ratio. If you can find a center that participated in the clinical trials and have a doc that did the procedure for the clinical trials, that's your best bet.
I have two Zephyr valves in my left lung and am considering a third. I had some improvement with two but critical care Pulmonologist thinks a third would help a lot. They can be done at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital, Dr Ralitza Martin. I was her fourth candidate. You must qualify by doing all the preliminary tests.
I am in the process of qualifying now. Have consulted with the pulmonologist who was involved in the original studies in the US. Next week I do the 6-minute walk and the PFT. The next week will do the CT, then the Dr. will tell me whether or not I qualify for the procedure. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Waiting is difficult.
Yes insurance pay's for it, I am about to do test's to see if I am a candidate!