McLaren Macomb pulmonology adds procedure to relieve effects of emphysema, COPD

Pulmonology services at McLaren Macomb has expanded to include the Zephyr Endobronchial Valve, a leading-edge, minimally invasive procedure deploying a device to relieve the quality-of-life-limiting symptoms in patients with severe COPD and emphysema.

Performed by pulmonologist Dr. Victor Gordon, McLaren Macomb is the first hospital in Macomb County to offer the procedure.

The Zephyr valve increases the function of the lungs by blocking air flow to air sacs damaged by the condition, reducing the inflammation and allowing for greater efficiency from the undamaged bronchioles and alveoli.

“Living with complications stemming from severe COPD has a real and significant impact on patients’ day-to-day lives, adding a level of struggle to seemingly everyday tasks,” Dr. Gordon said. “With this outpatient procedure to impact these Zephyr valves, many of our patients’ complications are alleviated, allowing them to go about their days in greater comfort and with much more efficiency.”

A chronic condition, patients living with emphysema often suffer from shortness of breath due to damaged bronchioles and alveoli (air sacs within the lungs), causing inefficient function. In severe cases, the lungs can become hyperinflated, hindering the diaphragm, the muscle controlling breathing.

After assessing the lungs with a bronchoscope, a catheter is inserted in the lungs to determining collateral ventilation, or airflow between lobes, to assure that the patient selection is optimal. When a target lobe is selected, and the self-expanding and form-fitting valve is deployed within the bronchial tubes. The one-way valve restricts air flow into the target lobe, while allowing the hyperinflated, trapped air to escape. The result is reduced airflow and air trapping to diseased areas of the lung, with improved airflow to healthier tissue.

Valves are not permanent, and more than one valve can be inserted during a single procedure.

McLaren Macomb has routinely been recognized for its care of COPD by Healthgrades, earning “High Performing” marks from the national body for it care of the chronic condition.

Learn more about all of the services offered at McLaren Macomb at