Emphysema Information and Treatments

Emphysema is a chronic lung disease that limits the amount of air you can breathe out. Emphysema is a type of COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which involves damage to the lungs over time. Patients with emphysema are typically smokers. However, some people with emphysema have a protein deficiency that puts them at risk for developing this disease.

Until recently, treatment options for emphysema have included lifestyle changes, medications, and invasive surgery. A new treatment option, is helping patients with severe emphysema. It’s called endobronchial valve treatment and the Angelos Center for Lung Diseases at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center is the first hospital in Maryland to offer it.

Emphysema Symptoms

If you suffer from emphysema, a form of COPD, you know how debilitating it can be. Even performing simple daily activities can be challenging. Symptoms of emphysema include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Tightness of the chest

Contact Us

For a physician referral, please call us at:


The Angelos Center for Lung Diseases
MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
9103 Franklin Square Dr.
Baltimore, MD 21237

Adjacent to the Weinberg Cancer Institute.

Emphysema Treatments

With an experienced multidisciplinary team, the Angelos Center for Lung Diseases offers a variety of treatment options for emphysema, from rehabilitation programs to medication and lifestyle modification programs.

  • Smoking cessation program: Stopping smoking is the most important part of emphysema treatments. It’s the only way to stop further damage to the lungs. Learn more about the Stop Smoking Today Program.
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation: A 6 to 10-week program with individualized exercise therapy and education. Learn more about the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program.
  • Endobronchial valve therapy: New treatment option available to eligible patients with severe emphysema. During the minimally invasive procedure, one-way valves are implanted to improve airflow efficiency, making it easier for patients to breathe. Learn more about this breakthrough treatment for emphysema.
  • Lung volume reduction surgery: A procedure to help people with end-stage emphysema.The goal is to remove diseased lung tissue, which helps patients breathe more efficiently.

About Endobronchial Valve Treatment: A New Breakthrough Treatment for Emphysema

A new way of improving the efficiency of airflow in people with severe emphysema, endobronchial valve treatment offers an alternative to invasive surgery.

During this minimally invasive procedure, one-way valves are placed into the lungs. The valves allow the trapped air in the diseased parts of the lung to escape without new air entering. This then makes room for the healthier parts of the lungs to expand and take in more air. Patients reported taking full breaths immediately after the procedure and within a few days getting back to doing everyday tasks with ease.

Patients who are potential candidates for endobronchial valve treatment are first evaluated using a series of tests to determine if they are likely to benefit from the procedure. The procedure itself does not involve cutting or incisions, usually takes about 60 minutes, and involves the following steps:

  • Step 1: The doctor will give you anesthesia to make you sleepy.
  • Step 2: A small tube with a camera, called a bronchoscope, will be inserted into your lungs through your nose or mouth.
  • Step 3: During the short procedure, your doctor will exam the airflow in your lungs and potentially place an average of four valves in your airways.
  • Step 4: You will stay in the hospital for a minimum of three nights for observation.
  • Step 5: After the procedure, you will continue to use the medicines that have been prescribed to you.

Learn More

See COPD educational materials from the COPD Foundation