Mayo Clinic offers new lung procedure for COPD patients

Currently there is no cure for COPD. Doctors say this treatment can improve quality of life.

Posted: Apr 9, 2019 9:06 PM
Updated: Apr 9, 2019 10:47 PM

ROCHESTER, Minn. – Mayo Clinic is offering a new treatment for patients with disorders associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, also known as COPD.

According to the CDC, there are approximately 16 million Americans living with COPD.

Mayo Clinic is the first medical center in Minnesota to perform the procedure. Wayne Peterson is the first person to receive it.

“Gasping for air every breath,” Peterson said. “Now I feel like I got a second life here.”

Peterson was diagnosed with COPD in 2003. In 2009, he was put on oxygen. Just last month, he was the first person to undergo the new procedure.

“I wasn't a candidate for a volume lung reduction and I wasn't a candidate for transplant,” Peterson said. “So this is the only other thing they could've done, and it worked.”

It’s called endoscopic lung volume reduction. Doctors go down the airway, putting in a valve that lets air out of part of the lung causing it to deflate. That lets the diaphragm fully expand to work more normally.

“Those muscles attain a more advantageous position, and they can do their job,” Dr. Eric Edell, with the pulmonary medicine department at Mayo Clinic, said. “And patients are less short of breath.”

Today, Peterson feels grateful for the fix.

“I couldn't even breath. Before I had exasperations so bad that I didn't know if I was going to be able to catch my breath,” Peterson said. “That went on every day, every day of the week, and now I don't have them anymore.”

Currently there is no cure for COPD. Doctors say this treatment can improve quality of life.

If you have COPD, talk to your doctor to see if you qualify for the procedure.

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