Emphasys Endobronchial Valve
TV Health Reports: Air Date: May 23, 2004

Taken from the University of Iowa Health Care Website


Please note that our own Chris Wigley is interviewed in this article...

Endobronchial Valve

Traditional treatments for emphysema focus on improving quality of life but often involve major surgery. Lung specialists at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics are studying a new, less-invasive option. It could provide new hope to the growing list of emphysema patients.

For people with emphysema, every day is precious. So when Christopher Wigley heard about a potential new treatment for his disease, he was excited. He also felt a sense of urgency.

It fits in the palm of his hand, so it's hard for Wigley to imagine that such a tiny device could help him breathe better.

"Doing something active like mowing the lawn - I get very, very out of breath. Even with the oxygen, that's a little hard," says Wigley.

The device, called an endo-bronchial valve, or E-B-V, is the centerpiece of a new study at UI Hospitals and Clinics. Doctors hope to implant the devices in Wigley.

The E-B-V is designed to prevent air from going into the diseased parts of the lung, which often causes breathing problems for emphysema patients.

"By doing this, it may give us a little bit better perspective as to how this disease works and other potential benefits that may stem from this particular trial," says Dave Riker, M.D., UI pulmonologist.

"How long it's likely to be - heaven only knows. But if it buys me an extra few years, gives me a situation where I'm less restricted in those years, then it's done something useful for me," says Wigley.

The procedure to place the E-B-V is also less invasive than traditional emphysema surgery options, so there are fewer complications.

Last Update 11/18/2005
Text  and Images, this page: 2004