Difficulty breathing is becoming easier for patients at Orlando Health Orlando Regional Medical Center (ORMC). Orlando Health ORMC is the first hospital in Central Florida to offer a new lung valve treatment for patients with severe emphysema, a progressive and life-threatening form of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The Zephyr® Endobronchial Valve System, by Pulmonx® Corp. is the first minimally-invasive device approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help emphysema sufferers breathe with ease, without major surgery.
The endobronchial valve system is a significant advancement for patients with severe emphysema. The valve treatment improves patients' quality of life by allowing patients to breathe easier, be less short of breath, and be more active and energetic. One patient who was once unable to walk from the car to the office, has enjoyed multiple trips overseas. Another patient is able to enjoy a hobby after years of leaving it behind. Whether returning to work, enjoying retirements, or celebrations in between, the outcomes have been life changing for our patients."
Mark A. Vollenweider, MD, MPH, FCCP, interventional pulmonologist, and section chief, Pulmonary Medicine, Orlando Health ORMC
The one-time treatment is done during a simple bronchoscopy - a procedure that allows doctors to examine your lungs and air passage, and requires no cutting or incisions. During the procedure, on average four tiny valves are placed in the airways to block off the diseased parts of the lungs where air gets trapped. Keeping air from getting trapped in the diseased parts of the lung allows the healthier parts of the lungs to expand and take in more air. This results in patients being able to breathe easier and have less shortness of breath.
According to the National Emphysema Foundation, an estimated 3.1 million Americans have been diagnosed with emphysema. Prior to the new valve treatment, emphysema management included medication, oxygen therapy, major surgery, or lung transplant.
The Zephyr Endobronchial Valve treatment was granted Breakthrough Device designation by the FDA based on positive clinical data from the pivotal LIBERATE Study and two other multicenter randomized control trials. Orlando Health ORMC was a site in the LIBERATE Study.
"We are honored to have been part of the research that led to the groundbreaking treatment options for patients," said Dr. Vollenweider. "It is exciting and rewarding to be part of a team committed to quality and advanced care for patients."