Zephyr Valve insertion surgery is an option approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for some people with severe, advanced emphysema — a type of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In severe emphysema, the lungs are hyperinflated and cannot expand effectively. Zephyr Valve surgery is performed by putting valves in the lungs that help the healthy areas of the lungs expand.
Not everyone with emphysema is a good candidate for Zephyr Valve insertion surgery. You cannot have the procedure if you have an active lung infection or you are unable to have a bronchoscopic procedure. You are also not a good candidate if you are allergic to nitinol, nickel, titanium, or silicone; you have not stopped smoking; or you have an air pocket (bulla) that is bigger than one-third of the lung.
What does it involve?
Zephyr Valve insertion surgery is a procedure where tiny valves are inserted into the lungs.
The procedure is performed under sedation without an incision. A flexible tube known as a bronchoscope is inserted through the mouth or the nose and threaded into the lungs. Three to five tiny valves are placed in the lungs, wherever they might block off more damaged areas of the lung. The valves can be permanent, but can also be easily removed if needed.
Zephyr Valve insertion surgery is an inpatient procedure. You will typically spend a minimum of three days in the hospital afterward for monitoring.
Risks from the surgery include worsening of COPD symptoms, lung collapse, coughing up blood, pneumonia, difficulty catching your breath, and, rarely, death.
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