MedStar Franklin Square Is First in State to Treat Emphysema with FDA-Approved Valve

June 21, 2019

New Lung Valve Helps Qualified Patients Breathe Easier Without Surgery

BALTIMORE—(June 21, 2019)—The Angelos Center for Lung Disease at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center successfully implanted a new FDA-approved lung valve in a patient with severe emphysema Tuesday, becoming the first medical facility in Maryland to perform an endoscopic lung volume reduction (ELVR), to ease breathing.

Known as the Zephyr valve, the breakthrough medical device was positioned into the lungs of a 69-year old Baltimore man using a bronchoscope, under anesthesia but without surgery. The patient recovered well and went home two days after.

“There is no cure for emphysema, but with an ELVR, patients can improve the quality of their lives, able to breathe easier and more comfortably,” said Sy A. Sarkar, MD, FCCP, board certified in interventional pulmonology. “We are excited to offer it to our patients, and hope that we can make a difference in the lives of many more with this condition.”

Dr. Sarkar is currently screening patients at the Angelos Center for Lung Disease on the hospital campus to determine if the medical device is right for them.

More than 3.5 million Americans suffer from emphysema, a severe, progressive form of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, (COPD). In emphysema, a breakdown of small air sacs in the lungs, known as aveoli, cause air to become trapped in the diseased portions of the lungs each time the patient inhales. The lungs hyperinflate and healthier lung tissue is compressed, causing patients to feel as though they are suffocating. Normal activities like walking, eating or bathing are challenging.

Once in position, the implanted valves will occlude any further airflow into the diseased portion of the lung and allow air trapped to be exhaled out of the patient, thereby reducing the volume in the overinflated area. The remaining lobes are then able to fully expand and work more efficiently, improving overall lung function. Patients who received the treatment experienced an increased exercise capacity. They can walk further, experience less shortness of breath and enjoy a better quality of life.

“Before, our only option for treating patients with this type of advanced lung disease was medical management and invasive surgery,” Dr. Sarkar said. “This revolutionary minimally invasive alternative is a major advance and will make a difference in the lives of many people who have been suffering with emphysema.”

Those interested in the minimally invasive treatment option can schedule a screening at the Angelos Center for Lung Disease by calling: 443-777-2467.

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About MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center is a not-for-profit 353-bed community teaching hospital located in the White Marsh section of eastern Baltimore County, Maryland. MedStar Franklin Square provides many medical and healthcare services, including a broad range of healthcare specialties, advanced technologies and treatments not traditionally found at community hospitals. The hospital is ranked third in admissions among all Maryland hospitals and our Emergency Department treats more than 80,000 patients annually. MedStar Franklin Square is accredited by the Joint Commission and certified as a Primary Stroke Center and has earned some of the nation’s most prestigious quality awards including Magnet Designation for excellence in nursing, the Excellence Award for Quality Improvement from the Delmarva Foundation and inclusion in the U.S. News & World Report Best Hospital specialty ranking for four consecutive years. With more than 3,300 employees, MedStar Franklin Square is one of the largest employers in Baltimore County. Visit medstarfranklin.org for more information.

Media Contact

Debra Schindler
Regional Director, Media & Public Relations, MedStar Health Baltimore
Office: 410-554-2496
Cell: 410-274-1260
[email protected]

Carrie Wells
Public Relations Specialist, MedStar Health Baltimore
443-613-1569 
[email protected]

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