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The procedure

The procedure

The insertion of endobronchial nitinol coils is intended to reduce airflow to damaged parts of the lung. This allows air to flow to healthier parts of the lung helping the person to get enough oxygen.

The coils can be inserted while the person is sedated or under general anaesthetic. No cuts through the chest or lungs are needed. Using a flexible tube with a camera on the end (bronchoscope), the doctor inserts a catheter (a thin tube) into the lung through the bronchoscope. A straightened coil is then passed through the catheter, before the catheter is withdrawn.

When released, the coil springs into a set shape, folding in the diseased lung tissue and letting air reach the healthier areas. Typically, between 5 and 15 coils are inserted into each treated part of the lung. The coils are meant to stay in the lung permanently.

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