A procedure called lung volume reduction surgery could be performed effectively in more patients, according to new research.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease COPD is a combination of emphysema damage to the air sacs of the lungs and chronic bronchitis. It affects more than a million people in the UK and is a major cause of disability and premature death.
In some patients, surgeons can perform a procedure called lung volume reduction surgery, which removes the most damaged area of the lung enabling the remaining parts of the lung to work more effectively. Clinical trials have shown that this reduces breathlessness and improves exercise capacity and survival. Despite these potential benefits, fewer than 100 operations are performed per year because of historical concerns about risks.