New Surgery Option to Breath Easier with Emphysema Video

Traditionally, drugs, inhalers, surgery or a lung transplant were the only ways to help people with severe emphysema. Now tiny valves may help some who want to avoid a major operation.
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New Surgery Option to Breath Easier with Emphysema Allisa Medley: Shasta, the sheltie is all dolled up and ready to go. For the first time in a decade, Shasta’s owner can go too. Pam Taylor: I feel like I've had a second chance. Allisa Medley: Advance emphysema had a chokehold on Pam Taylor’s life. Pam Taylor: At my worst point, I was ready to lay down on by. Allisa Medley: She tried inhalers, meds, therapy and oxygen. Pam Taylor: Your breath has gone, just gone. And then, the worst part is you never know when and if it’s coming back. Allisa Medley: Now doctors say this tiny doll maybe the answer to Pam’s problem. Dr. Kyle Hogarth: If this works, it’s going to revolutionize how we take care of advance emphysema. Allisa Medley: Traditionally, for severe emphysema, the options were lung transplant or massive surgery to cut out the bad parts of the lung. In a new procedure, doctors place umbrella like bronchial valves in the airway. They redirect airflow away from the diseased regions of the lung and enter the healthy parts. Dr. Kyle Hogarth: If you can sure to shut down those regions down, you would allow the good lungs, good regions of the lungs to do more work. And it’s clearly a lot easier to put a little device in the airway than it is to have your chest open. Allisa Medley: Six months after her valves were put in, Pam Taylor put away her oxygen and easily keeps up with Shasta’s pace. Pam Taylor: This has helped me so much. Allisa Medley: Now even life slower moments are worth sharing. I'm Allisa Medley reporting.

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