Health Care and Technology

Hospitals treat lung diseases with 'breakthrough' device

December 14, 2018
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Mounir Ghali
Mounir Ghali. Courtesy Metro Health

Two West Michigan health systems are using a newly approved medical device to treat lung diseases.

Metro Health-University of Michigan Health and Spectrum Health are using the Zephyr Endobronchial Valve in a non-invasive procedure for patients of emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Spectrum Health was the first in West Michigan to offer this treatment option, beginning in November.

Metro Health said the valve treatment is a 30- to 60-minute procedure during which the doctor uses a small tube to place tiny valves in airways. This allows healthier parts of the lungs to expand, lifting pressure off the diaphragm and helping ease breathing.

Previously, major surgery was the only option for patients when medication did not adequately treat symptoms of severe emphysema, an incurable, life-threatening disease, Metro Health said.

“As a pulmonologist, I have seen firsthand the debilitating effects on patients who have difficulty breathing,” said Dr. Peter Hahn, president and CEO of Metro Health. “This new procedure offers hope of improved lung function and a better quality of life.”

The valve was approved by the FDA in June and has been used in treatment of more than 15,000 patients since 2007, according to Redwood City, California-based Pulmonx Corp., which owns the device.

The FDA said the “breakthrough” technology allows for the first minimally invasive procedure for the conditions it treats.

Metro Health said it has several patients who are candidates for this procedure. Dr. Mounir Ghali, a Metro Health interventional pulmonologist, is scheduled to perform Metro’s first procedure in mid-December.

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