Lung Volume Reduction Surgery is often the last treatment option available for people suffering from severe emphysema or COPD. LVRS offers an greatly improved quality of life for qualifying patients for these patients.
During this procedure, 20-30% of the lung area damaged by emphysema can be removed to allow the remaining tissue and surrounding muscles to work more efficiently, making breathing easier. By removing the damaged tissue, the diaphragm can relax and be able to move up and down while breathing. In turn, this enables the compressed lung tissue to re-expand so less air is trapped and high negative pressures, which cause the airways to collapse, can be reduced.
"While there's no cure for severe emphysema or COPD, we can improve the lives of those patients who meet the criteria for this procedure," according to Dr. Stephen Hazelrigg, a cardiothoracic surgeon with Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, who has performed lung-volume reduction surgery at Memorial for more than 350 patients.
Watch Dr. Hazelrigg talk about how LVRS works.