Hackensack University Medical Center Now Offering New, Minimally Invasive Zephyr Endobronchial Valve Treatment for Patients with Severe Emphysema
May 19, 2023
Hackensack Meridian Hackensack University Medical Center is now offering Zephyr® Endobronchial Valves, a new, minimally invasive treatment for patients with severe emphysema, a form of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
The valve — which was the first endobronchial valve to receive FDA approval in 2018 for patients with heterogenous and homogenous emphysema — helps patients breathe more easily by releasing the trapped air in the diseased part of the lung, so the healthy parts can function better.
“Zephyr Endobronchial Valves are a new alternative to invasive lung surgeries and procedures for patients with severe emphysema,” said Nadeem Y. Ali, M.D., pulmonologist with Hackensack University Medical Center. “Before Zephyr, patients who could not tolerate an invasive procedure and were no longer responding to medications had no other options to relieve symptoms and improve their quality of life.”
Hackensack University Medical Center is at the forefront of medical care, featuring the most innovative options available to patients. Developing a program to improve the life of patients with COPD, with treatments like the Zephyr Endobronchial Valve, has been a main goal of the organization.
Zephyr Endobronchial Valves are placed while the patient is under conscious sedation or anesthesia as you can see here in this video. Using a thin tube called a bronchoscope that is inserted through the nose or mouth and into the lungs, a pulmonologist, who specializes in interventional procedures and has been trained by PulmonX, the maker of Zephyr, places multiple valves in multiple airways leading to the diseased lobe of the lung. The valves block air from entering the diseased lobe of the lung while allowing trapped air to escape. After the trapped air escapes, the lung volume of the blocked lobe is reduced, and the remaining lobes can expand more fully. After the procedure, there is a required three-night stay in the hospital to monitor any possible side effects or complications.
“Within 45 days of their Zephyr procedure, patients may experience reduced pressure on the diaphragm, as well as improved lung function and breathing mechanics,” said Dr. Ali. “That means patients are often able to return to activities that were previously limited. They can walk for longer distances, experience less shortness of breath, have more energy, and can go about daily tasks with increased confidence.”
The Zephyr Valve treatment is included in severe COPD and emphysema treatment recommendations issued by leading health organizations worldwide, including the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellent (NICE) and the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) which gives endobronchial valves a level ‘A’ evidence rating, the highest rating possible.