With a multitude of treatment options available to help treat Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), it can be overwhelming to keep up with what’s old, what’s new, and what could be an option for you. While you should always discuss possible changes to your treatment plan and options that are right for you with your physician, you may not be aware of these COPD treatment options.
Lung Volume Reduction Surgery involves removing some of the parts of your lungs that are affected and damaged by COPD. This allows for more air to reach healthy parts of your lungs and helps reduce the symptoms of COPD. While Lung Volume Reduction Surgery may sound beneficial, it carries a great amount of risk. Post-op risks include heart attack, blood clots, infections, and even death. The risk of complications can make some physicians hesitant to perform the surgery. This surgery has been found to be most successful in COPD patients who have disease damage in the upper lobes of their lungs.
Azithromycin is commonly used to help treat a COPD exacerbation. However, this drug’s anti-inflammatory properties have been recently shown to help increase quality of life and lessen COPD exacerbations when taken preventatively. Since this drug is typically used to help treat and eliminate bacteria that causes exacerbations, there is some concern that regular use of the drug preventatively can lead to antibiotic resistance.
Endobronchial Valves can provide some of the benefit of Lung Volume Reduction Surgery, but with a lowered risk. While still being tested, during this procedure a surgeon performs a bronchoscopic lung volume reduction by inserting a camera into your lungs and locating the parts that are damaged and diseased. Once located, a valve is then inserted to inhibit airflow to the severely damaged and diseased parts of your lung.
Source: inhealth.cnn.com, Accessed: 11/21/17