Bronchoscopic Lung Volume Reduction (BLVR)
While severe emphysema cannot be reversed, there are treatments which have the potential to lessen symptoms and help you breathe better.
A minimally invasive option, BLVR is performed by our interventional pulmonology team using an endobronchial valve to block diseased parts of the lung to allow the healthier area to inflate and work better.
Patients who have a positive response to BLVR report improved:
- Ability to exercise
- Lung function
- Quality of life
While this new approach to lung volume reduction is not widely available, University of Maryland Medical Center's interventional pulmonology team participated in clinical trials leading up to its release and are experienced in performing the operation.
To speak with our team and learn if you may be a candidate, call 410-328-8138.
Who is a Candidate?
Each patient will be reviewed individually to see if they would benefit from BLVR.
In general the ideal patient will have the following:
- Quit smoking for at least 3 months before the procedure date
- CT chest showing emphysema
- Pulmonary Function Tests full study (FEV1 15-45%, RV >175%, TLC >100%)
- Echocardiogram (LVEF >45%, absence of pulmonary hypertension >45mmhg sPAP)
- Stable on current COPD regimen without recurrent exacerbations
- BMI <35
- Completion of pulmonary rehabilitation
Patients with prior lung transplant, LVRS, sternotomy, and lobectomy are not ideal candidates but may be carefully considered.
Additional studies will be ordered by the treating pulmonologist and may include ventilation/perfusion scan, 6-minute walk test, or ABG.
If you are a referring physician and would like to learn more about our exclusion and inclusion criteria, or have a patient who may fall outside of these parameters and would like to discuss their case, don't hesitate to call for further discussion.
How it Works
Bronchoscopic procedures require no incision, so it is not considered surgery.
Using a tiny camera and tubes, which are inserted through either the patient's mouth or nose, our interventional pulmonologist will place valves to block the damaged sections of the lungs. This allows the healthy part of the lung to work better.
The procedure lasts about an hour, and since there is no incision there is less risk of complications and your recovery time is limited. Patients generally only feel discomfort when the tubes are inserted through the mouth or nose to access the lungs.
Following the procedure, you will stay in the hospital for a few days for observation. Should complications come up, this procedure is reversible. We will schedule follow-up appointments as necessary.
Make an Appointment
To make an appointment with our interventional pulmonology team, call 410-328-8138.