Published: Thursday, January 14th, 2016

Emphysema patients can breathe easier thanks to new valve




The Golden Jubilee National Hospital is the first in Scotland to fit an emphysema patient with groundbreaking, minimally invasive, implantable lung valves, as part of the clinical study TRANSFORM.

Patricia McCall, from Paisley, was forced to give up work 18 months ago because of ongoing breathing difficulties. After several unsuccessful attempts to improve her breathing, the 58 year old was referred to the Golden Jubilee, where Consultant Lung Surgeon Mr Alan Kirk recommended using a pioneering Endobronchial Valve (EBV).

The tiny one way valves were placed in Patricia’s lungs using a bronchoscope and are designed to block airflow to diseased regions of the lung. This allows healthy regions to expand and function more efficiently, enabling better breathing and improving her quality of life.

While visiting the hospital for her latest check up, Patricia said: “It’s been great, they have changed my life. I noticed the benefits of the valves straight away, it was instant and there was no pain after the operation.

“Before the valves I couldn’t do anything, I could barely even do my housework and I had to give up my two jobs because I couldn’t manage it anymore.

“I am so grateful for these valves as I look and feel 100 times better, it has been a godsend. I have bumped into old friends since the operation and they have all said I look fab and that it is great to see me out and about.”

The EBVs have given Patricia a new lease of life and she has been able to book her first family holiday in nearly 10 years.

She said: “I am going to Benidorm with my sister, Maureen, next spring. I never thought I would get on an aeroplane and be able to go away ever again because of the problems with my lungs.

“It has been so long since I last went on holiday and I am really looking forward to getting away but it would not have been possible without the valves, I am so grateful to the Golden Jubilee.”

As part of the TRANSFORM clinical study, the Golden Jubilee is currently the only hospital in Scotland using EBVs on emphysema patients and it is hoped this technology will dramatically improve their quality of life.

Emphysema, often associated with smoking in the west of Scotland, is a major burden of a disease and gives rise to a poor quality of life and premature death so it is hoped EBVs will benefit more patients.

Consultant Lung Surgeon at the Golden Jubilee, Alan Kirk said: “The Golden Jubilee is committed to leading quality, research and innovation for NHSScotland and our clinical study on these one way valves has found that after treatment patients will breathe far more effectively making their quality of life much better.

“The TRANSFORM study is a vital multi-national trial to evaluate the multi-efficacy of the valves and we really want to improve awareness of this procedure and receive more referrals from GPs and hospitals."
“We are confident that long term this procedure may be an alternative to more invasive surgery for patients suited to this treatment.”

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