South Florida Hospital News
Sunday April 11, 2021

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April 2021 - Volume 17 - Issue 10

Holy Cross Health to Offer Valves for the Lungs as a New Treatment Option for Patients with Severe COPD/ Emphysema

Revolutionary lung valve is the first FDA-approved device  to help
emphysema patients breathe easier without major surgery  
March 5 2021 -  Holy Cross Health is one of the first in South Florida to offer a new lung valve treatment for patients with severe COPD/emphysema.  
Recently approved by the FDA under its “Breakthrough Devices” status, the Zephyr® Endobronchial Valve treatment is a major advancement because it is the first minimally invasive procedure to help emphysema sufferers breathe easier without major surgery. Through a simple bronchoscopy, the valves improve a patient’s quality of life by allowing them to breathe easier, reducing the shortness of breath, while promoting a more active and energetic lifestyle. 
“We are very excited to have this new treatment option because emphysema patients are often in poor physical condition, struggling with each breath despite medication therapy. Before the Zephyr Valves, the only options for relief were highly invasive treatments including lung surgeries,” said Sam G. Kosseifi, M.D., DABSM, lead pulmonologist at Holy Cross Health. “Being able to offer this minimally invasive procedure has the potential to improve the quality of life for many emphysema sufferers in Florida and beyond.” 
The one-time procedure is done during a simple bronchoscopy that requires no cutting or incisions. During the procedure, an average of four tiny valves are placed in the airways to block off the diseased parts of the lungs where air gets trapped. Keeping air from getting trapped in the diseased parts of the lung allows the healthier parts of the lungs to expand and take in more air. This  results in patients being able to breathe easier and have less shortness of breath.  
Emphysema is a progressive and life-threatening lung disease and a severe form of COPD (chronic pulmonary obstructive disease). There is no cure, and patients live with severe shortness of breath that keeps them from doing simple daily activities such as 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 healthy parts of the lungs and diaphragm. During this short procedure, on average a physician places four tiny valves in the airways to block off the damage areas of the lungs so air no longer gets trapped there. 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. 
In August, Herb Yardley of Massey Yardley CDJRF donated $2 million to establish the Catherine Yardley Pulmonary Center of Excellence at Holy Cross Health to honor his wife Catherine who passed away from COPD. With this funding Holy Cross can conduct comprehensive research, advance clinically effective treatments of COPD and other lung diseases, spark the creation of a new lab focused on research and education, and allow for a number of enhancements to already established bronchoscopy labs.   
More on the Zephyr Valves: 
The Zephyr Valves were fast-tracked through the FDA’s “Breakthrough Device” status because they “offer bronchoscopic lung volume reduction without surgery and its associated risks.” The FDA’s approval was based on the results of four randomized controlled clinical trials, including the U.S. approval study, LIBERATE. Data from the study showed that implantation of the Zephyr Valves successfully reduced shortness of breath while improving lung function, exercise capacity and quality of life. 1 These benefits lasted at least one-year post-treatment for patients with severe emphysema.  
The Zephyr Valves were approved by the FDA in July 2018. Since 2007, more than 15,000 patients have been treated with The Zephyr Valve worldwide. Zephyr Valve treatment is included in emphysema treatment recommendations issued by leading health organizations worldwide, including the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) and the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). 
More about COPD and Emphysema 
More than 15 million Americans suffer from COPD and 3.5 million of those patients have emphysema.2Despite using COPD medications, one million+ emphysema patients continue to suffer symptoms of hyperinflation, in which air becomes trapped in the lungs and prevents new air from coming in, causing severe shortness of breath. Breathing becomes inefficient and patients have to work very hard just to breathe – making normal activities, like walking, eating or even bathing, difficult. There are few treatment options for most patients with emphysema and there is no cure. Until now, the only other options for these patients were highly invasive treatments such as lung volume reduction surgery or lung transplantation. 
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A member of Trinity Health, Fort Lauderdale-based Holy Cross Hospital, dba Holy Cross Health, is a full-service, non-profit, Catholic, teaching hospital operating in the spirit of the Sisters of Mercy. Holy Cross has been named one of the top 10 hospitals in the Miami metro area and among the top 30 in the state in U.S. News and World Report's 2020-2021 Best Hospital rankings. Through strategic collaborations and a commitment to being a person-centered, transforming, healing presence, the 557-bed hospital offers progressive inpatient, outpatient and community outreach services and clinical research trials to serve as our community’s trusted health partner for life. Holy Cross Health also encompasses Holy Cross HealthPlex outpatient facility, urgent care centers and more than 50 Holy Cross Medical Group physician practices. To learn more about Holy Cross Health, visit Connect @holycrossfl. 
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