Technology Transforming Lives

Technology Transforming Lives

copd patients
Philip, left, and Jessie, right, are astonished at how well they are breathing just hours after Hendricks Regional Health’s pulmonary team implanted new technology into their airways. They are eager to share their experiences to give others with emphysema and COPD hope that major surgery or suffering are not their only options anymore.

“They gave me four valves this morning and I can’t believe how much better I feel already. I’m so happy I took advantage of this opportunity.”

Philip, Brownsburg, is speaking just hours after Sumit Chawla, MD, and Lirim Krveshi, DO, Hendricks Pulmonary and Critical Care, implanted new technology called Zephyr Endobronchial Valves into his airways. The valves help patients with emphysema and COPD breathe more easily by blocking the most diseased part of the lung so the healthier parts can function better and take in more air.

Hendricks Regional Health’s pulmonary team started using this technology in March. Philip was the team’s second patient. He admits to being anxious leading up to the day of the procedure. Fortunately for him, he knew the first patient, whose procedure was scheduled two days before his.

Philip and Jessie, Waveland, met at Hendricks while undergoing cardiac/pulmonary rehabilitation. Philip couldn’t wait to visit Jessie after he had his valves implanted. He had a lot of questions about the procedure – plus he wanted to see how the recovery was.

“He came to see me the day after my procedure,” said Jessie. “I knew he was nervous about his procedure being the next day, so I watched for him. When he got to the door, I pretended to have a lot of trouble breathing to scare him!”

“Yeah, he had me a little worried!” laughed Philip. “But when I saw how well he was doing, I felt so much more comfortable moving forward.”

“I told him it is the smoothest, least painful procedure I’ve ever been through,” said Jessie. “They made it so easy. I just wanted him to know he’d be OK.”

The day after that visit, Philip was back at the hospital, this time for his procedure. A few hours later, he and Jessie were up and walking around the rehab track, both feeling astonished at how well they were breathing.

Dr. Chawla says Philip and Jessie’s recoveries are in line with those of other Zephyr Valve patients, who have reported being able to take full breaths immediately after the procedure and within a few days are back to doing everyday tasks with ease. “Jessie used to need supplemental oxygen to keep his oxygen saturation from dropping during activities,” said Dr. Chawla. “A few hours following his procedure he was able to walk without needing supplemental oxygen. This is just one example of why this technology is so exciting.”

People interested in learning more about Zephyr Valves are invited to call Hendricks Pulmonary and Critical Care at (317) 718-4000.

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