Information for the public

This procedure works well in specific patients who have already had rehabilitation for people with lung problems. There are no serious concerns about its safety.

Emphysema is a chronic lung disease that causes the walls of the smaller airways in the lungs to break down. This creates abnormally large spaces in the lung so that when a person breathes in, most of the air goes into these spaces, reducing the amount of air that reaches the healthy areas. In this procedure, a thin flexible tube with a camera on the end (bronchoscope) is moved through the nose or mouth into the lungs, and small one-way valves are then placed in some airways leading to the damaged parts of the lungs. The aim is to reduce the air flowing in to the damaged parts, allowing more air to reach the healthy areas.

NHS Choices may be a good place to find out more. NICE’s information on interventional procedures guidance has more about what a procedure is and how we assess them.

Is this procedure right for me?

If you’ve been offered this procedure, your healthcare professionals should discuss with you what is involved, and tell you about the risks and benefits. They should talk with you about your options, and listen carefully to your views and concerns. Your family can be involved too, if you wish. All of this should happen before you agree (consent) to have the procedure. You should also be told how to find more information about the procedure. Read more about making decisions about your care.

Some questions to think about

  • What does the procedure involve?
  • What are the possible benefits? How likely am I to get them?
  • What are the risks or side effects? How likely are they?
  • What happens if the procedure doesn’t work or something goes wrong?
  • What happens if I don’t want the procedure? Are there other treatments available?

ISBN: 978-1-4731-2756-2

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