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Greek CommunityHackensack Meridian JFK Advanced Lung and Airway Center Pioneers Novel Procedure To...

Hackensack Meridian JFK Advanced Lung and Airway Center Pioneers Novel Procedure To Help Patients with Advanced Emphysema

Hellenic News of America
Hellenic News of America
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Combining Robotic Surgery with Endobronchial Valves for Patients with Advanced Emphysema Allowing More Patients to Benefit from this Procedure.

Hackensack Meridian JFK University Medical Center’s Advanced Lung and Airway Center now offers a new lung valve treatment for patients with severe COPD and emphysema. Zephyr® Valves received breakthrough device designation and were approved by the FDA in 2018. The Zephyr Valve treatment helps patients breathe easier and do more without many of the risks associated with major surgery. What makes the program at the JFKUMC Advanced Lung and Airway Center unique is our robotic technique to separate fused fissures and then place the valve during the same surgery in patients who would not otherwise be candidates.

“Having a minimally invasive procedure to help patients with this disease is very exciting,” states Faiz Bhora, MD, FACS, professor and regional chair of surgery, director advanced lung and airway center and chief thoracic surgery, Hackensack Meridian Health Network (Central Region), Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine “Patients with severe COPD and emphysema often struggle with each breath despite medication and oxygen therapy, and before the Zephyr Valve the only options for relief were highly invasive treatments including lung transplant.”

More than 15 million Americans suffer from COPD, and 3.5 million of those patients have emphysema.2 Emphysema is a progressive and life-threatening lung disease, and a severe form of COPD (chronic pulmonary obstructive disease).

Pulmonologists, who specialize in expert treatment of diseases of the lung, play an important role in treating patients with COPD and referring them for specialized treatment such as the Zephyr valves when their lung disease worsens.

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Despite routine pulmonary care, there is no cure for COPD and patients live with severe shortness of breath that keeps them from doing simple daily activities like walking, or taking a shower, without pausing to catch their breath or resting. This extreme shortness of breath is caused when air becomes trapped in parts of the lung that are damaged by the disease. This trapped air causes the damaged areas of the lungs to get larger which puts pressure on the diaphragm and makes breathing difficult.

“During this surgery, we place an average of 3-4 valves to occlude a hyperinflated part of the lung, allowing air to escape while blocking airflow into the treated part of the lung. This allows the healthier parts of the lungs to expand and relieves the pressure on the diaphragm, which decreases shortness of breath and makes breathing easier, said Dr. Killol Patel, interventional pulmonologist at the Advanced Lung and Airway Center at JFK University Medical Center.

Dr. Bhora further explained that the valves are typically placed in patients only when the fissures or separations between the lobes of the lungs are not fused together; however, sometimes, even if a CT scan suggests that the fissures are not fused, they may be found to be fused during the procedure. In such cases, the surgeons at JFK have successfully used robotic technology to divide the fissures and place the valves.

“This novel approach allows us to help patients who might not have been candidates for getting a valve in the lungs and make them candidates for the procedure using advanced robotic technology,” said Dr. Bhora. “It’s truly an advance in the treatment of patients with COPD and emphysema.”

“We are excited to have this minimally invasive treatment close to home for all our patients in the central region and beyond,’’ said Paul C. Yodice MD, FCCP, FCCM, regional chair of medicine, central region, Hackensack Meridian Health.

More on the Zephyr Valves:

The Zephyr® Valve was fast-tracked through the FDA’s “Breakthrough Device” designation. As part of the supporting evidence for the FDA premarket approval, four randomized controlled clinical trials, including the US approval study, LIBERATE was conducted. Data from the study showed that implantation of the Zephyr Valves successfully reduced shortness of breath while improving lung function, exercise capacity, and quality of life.1 These benefits lasted at least one-year post-treatment for patients with severe emphysema.

Since 2007, more than 25,000 patients have been treated with The Zephyr Valve worldwide. The Zephyr Valve treatment is included in severe COPD and emphysema treatment recommendations issued by leading health organizations worldwide, including the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellent (NICE) and the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) which gives endobronchial valves a level ‘A’ evidence rating, the highest rating possible.

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About Hackensack Meridian JFK University Medical Center

Serving residents of central New Jersey for more than 50 years, JFK University Medical Center offers a complete array of advanced services in its 498-bed facility located in Edison, N.J. With more than 1,000 affiliated physicians, this academic medical center offers a complete spectrum of advanced services including general and specialized surgery, cardiac care, maternity and pediatrics, oncology, imaging, breast center, sleep center, wound care, robotic surgery, emergency medicine, weight loss surgery, and radiology. It is home to the world-renowned JFK Neuroscience Institute that diagnoses and treats brain, spine and nervous system disorders. To learn more, visit

SOURCE; Hackensack Meridian JFK University Medical Center

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