British Lung Foundation
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re lung volume reduction

does anyone know anything about lung volume reduction operation and what it entails how long in hospital recovery time etc.

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Lung volume reduction surgery IS15 Helpline: 03000 030 555

© British Lung Foundation 2012 enquiries@blf.org.uk

Lung volume reduction surgery

Healthy lungs are made up of millions of little air sacs with elastic walls (alveoli). It is here that oxygen is absorbed into the body and waste gases are expelled.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) - which is mainly caused by cigarette smoking – means that the walls of these air sacs are damaged. The sacs break apart so that they merge into each other, which makes holes in the lungs.

Oxygen cannot be absorbed into the blood in these damaged areas. The damaged parts press on the remaining healthy parts, ‘stretching’ the chest, and so interfering with the normal working of the lungs. As a result someone with emphysema becomes increasingly breathless.

Lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS) This is an operation aimed at removing the damaged air spaces so that the healthy parts can inflate and work better. Also, by removing the ‘swollen’ air spaces your chest is able to relax into a more normal shape which is more efficient for breathing.

The operation is usually done on both sides of the chest through a single incision in the centre. This is a major operation so some surgeons are trying to develop methods to do the same thing by passing an operating telescope between the ribs and so avoid a major incision.

Benefits and risks The most successful results are very impressive with a major reduction in breathlessness and an improvement in the ability to exercise and quality of life. The average benefit in the best North American centres is claimed to be about a 50 per cent improvement in walking ability.

But LVRS is a major operation and it does carry a level of risk. This usually means a prolonged stay in hospital to recover from the operation, but occasionally people have had more serious complications and even died.

The main challenge is to make sure that only people who will benefit from LVRS get the operation.

Who is suitable? People under 75 who are still able to get out and about are likely to be most

Lung volume reduction surgery IS15 Helpline: 03000 030 555

© British Lung Foundation 2012 enquiries@blf.org.uk

suitable. The assessment involves detailed X-rays to find out whether the emphysema is patchy or not. Only people with patchy disease are suitable since the surgeon must be able to separate the healthy parts of the lung from the damaged parts of the lung.

Because the operation is relatively new it is not yet clear exactly who stands to gain the most and who runs the greatest risk from the operation. It is already clear that only a small minority (perhaps less than one in ten) of all people with emphysema may be suitable.

LVRS is not suitable for other lung conditions such as bronchiectasis and asthma.

How effective is LVRS compared to other treatments? There is still much to be learned about LVRS. Currently research is focused on comparing the benefit of the operation with the very best non-surgical treatment, finding out who is ideally suited to the operation, assessing the safest way of doing it and working out how long any benefits last. As with any new procedure there is considerable debate about its exact place in the treatment of emphysema and expert medical opinion ranges from enthusiastic to sceptical.

The British Lung Foundation believes that this is an important new treatment which must be evaluated properly by specialist centres before it can be generally recommended.

Where is the operation carried out? Most specialist thoracic surgical units in the UK have shown a considerable interest in this technique and some are undertaking carefully controlled trials to evaluate the place of LVRS in the treatment of emphysema. People with emphysema who would like to know more, or want to be considered for inclusion in a LVRS programme, should see their GP to discuss the possibility of referral to a specialist centre

New forms of lung volume reduction surgery One-way valves can now be placed in the lungs to block off damaged parts. Early experience shows that valves can sometimes be as good as surgery which means you can avoid an operation. This is an active area of research – valve treatment is not yet routinely available.

Reply

I have a friend who had this done in the last couple of months. She is 36. She had scarring due to repeated bouts of pnuemonia and it was affecting the rest of her lungs. She had half a lung removed. She was in hospital for around a week with about 6 weeks recovery time. Obviously she had quite a big scar but its already beginning to fade. She feels fitter now than before so it has done quite a lot of good. She said there wasn't a lot of pain.

If you are considering having this done I wish you the best.

Let us know please.

Bev x

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HI BUDDY LET ME TELL THERE IS HOPE.. I HAD TWO ONE WAY VALVES INSERTED INTO MY LEFT LUNG 4 WEEKS AGO AND MY SURGEON IS INSERTING 3 INTO MY RIGHT LUNG IN MAY. THE IMPROVEMENT IN THE SHORT SPACE OF TIME IS AMAZING AS I HAD GONE DOWN TO 14%LUNG CAPACITY I WAS ACTUALLY DYEING AND WOULD NOT HAVE LASTED ANOTHER 12 WEEKS, UNFORTUNATELY WHEN THE PREVIOUS SPECIALIST TOLD ME I WAS ABOUT TO EXPIRE I CANCELED MY PRIVATE COVER, LMAO SILLY MOVE IN RETROSPECT AS I THEN HAD TO SELF FUND, JUST A LITTLE EXPENSIVE.YET I THINK THAT YOU COULD NOT POSSIBLY WEIGH THE COST AGAINST LIFE, I AM AIMING AT COMPETING IN MY FAVORITE SPORTS WITHIN THE YEAR BEING TEAM PENNING AND ENDURANCE BOTH OF WHICH ARE DEMANDING HORSE SPORTS ESPECIALLY THE ENDURANCE, LONG DISTANCE AT HIGH SPEED ON VERY FIT ARABIAN HORSES. AND IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO READ UP ON ME AND SEE WHAT I AM ABOUT PLEASE CLICK ON THIS LINK AND ALL WILL BE REVEALED. I HOPE YOU ENJOY READING IT AND ALL THE BEST FOR HOPEFULLY YOUR NEW LIFE WITH VALVES AND WITHOUT SURGERY ALL THE BEST, KIND REGARDS

ROBIN

smh.com.au/lifestyle/lost-a...

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Hi Falcon, or should I say Robin! I've been looking at everything I can about the valves recently and am going to ask my consultant about it when I'm next at the North West Lung Centre, so thanks for your input on the subject. I'm at about 20% lung function now so you know how 'orrible that is. This led me to read the article about you and it was great to read about your life. I'm 60 so of course I remember you well from Bless this House - the good old days eh! You've had a fantastic, full and rewarding life, you really seem to have grabbed every opportunity with both hands. All best wishes to you and Bertie for your new life together. Libby x

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THANK YOU SO MUCH. I MUST ADMIT MY LIFE HAS BEEN OK TO SAY THE LEAST A BIT RIP SHIT AND BUST AT TIMES THEN AGAIN I WOULDN'T HAVE HAD IT ANY OTHER WAY, AND I REALLY CAN SAY THAT APART FROM HURTING ONE OR TWO PEOPLE ALBEIT UNINTENTIONALLY I DON'T HAVE ANY REGRETS, I HAVE LIVED AND EXPERIENCED THE GOOD AND THE BAD AND APPRECIATED EVERY SINGLE MOMENT OF IT ALL I GOT DOWN TO 14% AND YUP ITS PRETTY HORRID, HANG IN THERE WITH LUCK AND A BIT OF PUSH AND SHOVE IT COULD ALL TURN AROUND. ALL THE VERY BEST FOR A WONDERFUL NEW YEAR AND MANY MORE BREATHS OF SWEET AIR, WITH GREAT RESPECT ROBIN,

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OH AND BY THE WAY I SPENT ONE NIGHT IN HOSPITAL ATE WELL WATCHED A FEW DVD;S WAS GOOD FOR 5 DAYS CAME OF THE PREDNIZONE TO QUICKLY GOT AN INFECTION IN THE LEFT LUNG FOUGHT IT FOR TWO WEEKS AND I AM STILL WONDERFUL IN FACT TODAY I WAS PUTTING CATTLE THROUGH THE YARDS, ALBEIT ON FOOT , MY BREATHING WAS AMAZING,OK THAT'S ALL FOR NOW PLEASE LET ME KNOW HOW YOU GET ON

REGARDS AGAIN

ROBIN.

HAVE A GREAT NEW YEAR WITH MASSES OF HOPE.

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Hi Falcon, I am seeing my consultant on January 7th to discuss this, I am a young 70 with severe COPD and on oxygen so hope he will refer me to have it done,

Carole

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KOOL THAT IS SUCH GOOD NEWS I AM 66 AND TRULY IT IS JUST GREAT, DID YOU LOOK AT THE LINK I PUT ON ITS ME AND IF YOU ARE IN ENGLAND YOU WILL REMEMBER THE SERIES I DID WITH SID JAMES IT WAS WRITTEN JUST WEEKS BEFORE I HAD THE VALVES PUT IN AND THEY TOLD ME AFTERWARDS THAT IT WAS MY FINAL BLOOM SO HOW LUCKY WAS I.ALL THE BEST WITH YOU DR.HOPE YOU ENJOY MANY MORE YEARS

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I found this about LVRS so very interesting!! Had never heard of this procedure! my husband has copd & emphysema. He is 76 years old & is in pretty good shape outside of having a stent put in 7 or 8 years ago & a little HB pressure..We are definatly going to ask our Lung DR. weather he could be a candidate for this ..falcon wish you many more years on GODS great earth!

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