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In lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS), a large area of
damaged lung is removed to allow the remaining lung tissue to expand when you
breathe in. This surgery is done only for people with severe
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or with certain types of emphysema.1
Emphysema Treatment Trial has examined the results of LVRS. The results of this
study report that people not considered good candidates for this surgery
include people who have:2
For other people LVRS, compared to medical treatment, may
provide an increased ability to exercise and may result in fewer symptoms. LVRS
also can reduce the number of COPD exacerbations for some people.3 But it does not improve the survival rate compared to medical
treatment, except for people who have emphysema mainly in the upper portion of
the lungs and who are not able to exercise well even after pulmonary
candidates for LVRS is subjective, criteria identifying good candidates for
LVRS include people:5
The decision to have
this surgery is not an easy one. Not all patients who have emphysema or COPD
will benefit from this surgery. Detailed testing is needed to find out if a
person is likely to be helped by LVRS. Talk with your doctor about all of the
treatment options available for COPD.
Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (2011). Global Strategy for the Diagnosis, Management, and Prevention of COPD. Available online: http://www.goldcopd.org/uploads/users/files/GOLD_Report_2011_Feb21.pdf.
National Emphysema Treatment Trial Research Group (2003). A randomized trial comparing lung-volume reduction surgery with medical therapy for severe emphysema. New England Journal of Medicine, 348: 2059–2073.
Washko GR, et al. (2008). The effect of lung volume reduction surgery on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbations. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 177(2): 164–169.
Naunheim KS, et al. (2006). Long-term follow-up of patients receiving lung-volume-reduction surgery versus medical therapy for severe emphysema by the National Emphysema Treatment Trial Research Group. Annals of Thoracic Surgery, 82(2): 431–443.
Ciccone AM, et al. (2003). Long-term outcome of bilateral volume reduction in 250 consecutive patients with emphysema. Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, 125(3): 513–525.
November 29, 2011
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Ken Y. Yoneda, MD - Pulmonology
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