Hoag is First Hospital in OC to Perform Breakthrough Treatment Option for Patients with Severe COPD or Emphysema

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Hoag is the first hospital in Orange County to perform a new lung valve treatment on a patient with severe COPD (chronic pulmonary obstructive disease) and emphysema. The procedure has the potential to benefit a number of patients in Orange County who suffer from major quality of life issues related to shortness of breath.

“We are thrilled to bring this minimally invasive option to patients in Orange County,” said Javier Longoria, M.D., the only fellowship-trained interventional pulmonologist in Orange County, who performed the first procedure in November. “Individuals with severe COPD and emphysema often struggle with each breath despite medication and oxygen therapy. This procedure provides them relief that was previously only possible from highly invasive treatments, such as a lung transplant.”

The procedure helps patients breathe easier and without many of the risks associated with major surgery. It is usually completed in under an hour and allows patients to enjoy a better quality of life.

Lung valve rendering, courtesy of Hoag Hospital

Dyan Goodman, 82, the first Orange County patient to undergo the procedure, says the procedure has changed her life and allowed her relief and the ability to complete physical activities she would have never thought possible. Goodman has been unable to walk, or even bend, without discomfort for the last 17 years.

“This procedure gave me my life back,” says Goodman. “This week I went up 22 steps and went for a mile walk. I would have never believed that was possible in my life again.”

Emphysema is a progressive and life-threatening lung disease, and a severe form of COPD. There is no cure and patients live with severe shortness of breath that keeps them from doing simple daily activities like walking, or taking a shower, without pausing to catch their breath or resting. This extreme shortness of breath is caused when air becomes trapped in parts of the lung that are damaged by the disease. This trapped air causes the damaged areas of the lungs to get larger which puts pressure on the diaphragm and makes breathing difficult.

During the treatment, Dr. Longoria placed several valves in Goodman’s lung to block a hyperinflated section, allowing air to escape while blocking airflow into the treated part of the lung. This allows the healthier parts of the lungs to expand and relieves the pressure on the diaphragm, which decreases shortness of breath and makes breathing easier.

“Finally having a breakthrough treatment option to help patients with this disease get back to their best self is very exciting,” said Dr. Longoria.

Goodman can attest to the excitement. She says she was walking moments after she woke up from the procedure, and that her recovery has been “seamless, flawless, perfect.”

“The nurses had trouble keeping me in bed,” Goodman says of her three-day hospital stay following the procedure. “I wanted to go climb a mountain.”

For more information or to schedule a consultation, please contact the Hoag Lung Clinic at (949) 764-6166.

For more information on Hoag Hospital visit www.hoag.org.

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