(02/26/14) - Tiny coils could help people suffering with severe emphysema get
back to every day life, by making breathing easier, without surgery.
Keeping up with her grandson, Justin, has not been easy for Linda Creighton. "I would be completely out of breath."
The ex-three-pack-a-day smoker developed severe emphysema a few years ago and was told a lung transplant was her only option. "I just, I guess went into denial, because, I just, know I'm not ready to take that kind of a step."
Now, Dr. Gerard Criner is testing a new non-invasive treatment, "it has the potential to be huge."
Doctors use a bronchoscope to deliver 10 tiny coils into the diseased lung. The coils work by compressing the lungs to help restore elasticity.
"When it compresses the lung tissue, it actually re-tensions the lung. That increases the recoil of the lung to expand the small airways," Criner says.
Patients feel a difference just one hour after the coils are placed. Studies done in Europe show an average 18 percent improvement in lung function.
After just one month, Linda could walk 60 percent more than before, "it really has changed my life. It has given me back a comfortable lifestyle of doing things that I normally wanted to do, like taking care of my grandson."
Patients in the "Renew" study receive two sets of coils placed four months apart. The multi-center study is currently enrolling patients all over the country.
For more information, visit www.clinicaltrials.gov
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