The Zephyr Valve is the first minimally-invasive option for patients with severe emphysema/COPD. Severe emphysema causes extreme shortness of breath and often requires the use of daily oxygen. Patients with severe emphysema have lung tissue that has been destroyed and leads to hyperinflation, where air becomes trapped in the lungs, causing severe shortness of breath. Despite taking the best available medications patients often have difficulty doing even the simplest tasks like showering or walking up a flight of stairs. The Zephyr Valve, placed through a simple bronchoscopy procedure, reduces this hyperinflation which results in patients being able to breathe more easily and experience less shortness of breath.
Unlike the more invasive lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS) and lung transplant, this new treatment is a one-time procedure done during a bronchoscopy that requires no cutting or incisions and is completed in under one hour. On average four tiny valves are placed in the airways to block off diseased parts of the lungs. This reduces air trapping in the damaged areas of the lung, allows the healthier parts of the lungs to expand and lifts pressure off the diaphragm. This results in patients being less short of breath and having an easier time breathing. Zephyr Valves are fully removable, if necessary, but are intended to be permanent.
In clinical studies, patients treated with Zephyr Valves have been shown to breathe easier, be more active and energetic, be less short of breath, and enjoy a significantly improved quality of life compared to untreated patients.
Patients report being able to take full breaths immediately after the procedure and within a few days are back to doing everyday tasks with ease. In clinical studies patients treated with Zephyr® Valves have been shown to1:
The one-time procedure is done during a bronchoscopy that requires no cutting or incisions. During the procedure, on average 4 tiny valves are placed in the airways to block off the diseased parts of the lungs. The valves reduce hyperinflation, preventing air from being trapped in the diseased area of the lung and allowing healthier parts of the lung to take in more air. This results in patients being able to breathe easier. Patients treated have reported immediate relief.
A typical Zephyr® valve procedure looks like this: