Hutchinson Regional Medical Center (HRMC) is one of only two hospitals in Kansas to perform a new FDA-approved pulmonary valve treatment for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) / emphysema. The first local procedure of this type was successfully performed this month by Dr Mo Al-Halawani with Hutchinson Pulmonology Associates, located within the hospital.
The new treatment, called Zephyr Endobronchial Valve treatment, is a minimally invasive procedure that allows people with emphysema to breathe easier without major surgery. An estimated 15 million Americans suffer from COPD, of which 3.5 million also suffer from emphysema.
Here’s how the Zephyr endobronchial valve treatment works: The unique procedure is performed during a simple bronchoscopy that does not require any cutting or incision. During the procedure, several tiny valves are placed in the airways to block diseased parts of the lungs where air is trapped. Valves prevent air from being trapped in diseased parts of the lungs, allowing healthier parts of the lungs to expand and absorb more air. This makes it easier for patients to breathe and experience less shortness of breath.
Ken Johnson, president of the Hutchinson Regional Healthcare System (HRHS), said the hospital is delighted to be one of the first hospitals in Kansas to offer this new treatment, as patients with emphysema often have difficulty breathe despite medication.
“Before the Zephyr valve, the only relief options were highly invasive treatments, including lung surgeries,” Johnson said. “This minimally invasive procedure has the potential to improve the quality of life for thousands of people with emphysema in Kansas and across the country. We commend Dr Al-Halawani and Hutchinson Pulmonology Associates for their efforts to bring this new treatment to our region.
“One of our primary goals at the Hutchinson Regional Healthcare System is to stay abreast of new FDA approved procedures and to launch these services soon after they are cleared,” Johnson continued. “The Zephyr Endobronchial Valve Treatment is a great example of one of these services.”
Hutchinson Regional Medical Center is an entity of the Hutchinson Regional Healthcare System. The other entities are the Horizons Mental Health Center, Reno County Hospice & HomeCare, Health-E-Quip, and the Hutchinson Regional Medical Foundation.