Cleveland Clinic Weston Is First Hospital in Region to Offer New Treatment for COPD

Help is on the way for the millions of Americans suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and Cleveland Clinic Weston is leading the way. It is the first hospital in South Florida to offer a new lung valve treatment to patients with advanced respiratory conditions such as emphysema.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved the procedure, which involves placing endobronchial valves in patients’ lungs to help them breathe easier. The treatment is performed during a bronchoscopy, which allows the physician to examine the inside of the lungs, including the bronchi (main airways into the lungs). Depending on the severity of the case, one to four tiny valves will be placed in the airways to block off the diseased parts of the lungs. The valves reduce hyperinflation by preventing air from being trapped in the diseased area and allowing the healthier parts of the lung to move more air, lifting pressure off the diaphragm.

Rodolfo Blandon, M.D., President of Cleveland Clinic Weston, says it is an honor to have the hospital’s Pulmonary Medicine Department be the first to provide this revolutionary non-surgical treatment. “Offering this advanced lung treatment will significantly improve the overall quality of life for our patients.”

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is an umbrella term used to describe progressive lung diseases such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and refractory (non-reversible) asthma. Symptoms of COPD include increased shortness of breath, frequent coughing, increased breathlessness, wheezing and tightness in the chest.

COPD is one of the most common diseases in this country. According to the National Institutes of Health, approximately 12 million adults in the United States have been diagnosed with COPD, and an additional 12 million adults are thought to have undiagnosed COPD. It is a progressive and (currently) incurable disease that claims the lives of an estimated 120,000 people each year. While researchers work on finding a cure, treatments, such as this new lung valve procedure, can help COPD patients breathe better and manage the disease.

Cleveland Clinic Weston is a nonprofit, multi-specialty, academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. The Weston hospital has more than 250 physicians with expertise in 55 specialties. The medical campus is fully integrated and includes diagnostic centers, outpatient surgery and a 24-hour emergency department located within the state-of-the-art hospital.