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Emphysema Patients Breathing Easier Without Drugs, Surgery

Posted Aug 12 2010 8:18am

lungpic
TheDenverChannel.com

Right now, nearly six million people in the U.S. are having a hard time catching their breath. Severe emphysema strangles the life out of energetic people.

Traditionally, drugs, inhalers, a lung transplant or a massive surgery were the only ways to help. But doctors are testing a new option no surgery needed.

In a new procedure, doctors place umbrella-like bronchial valves in the airway. They re-direct airflow away from the diseased regions of the lung and toward the healthy parts.

In a European trial, experts found the valves were safe to use and improved quality of life. The bronchial valves are in the final phase of testing in the U.S.

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