COPD - Surgery

What type of surgery did you have for COPD, and was it successful?

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Surgery for COPD

There are three types of surgery generally available to treat certain types of patients with COPD that include:

  1. bullectomy,
  2. lung volume reduction surgery, and
  3. lung transplant surgery.

Surgery may not be available or desirable for many COPD patients.

Bullectomy surgery is the removal of giant bullae. Airfilled spaces usually located in the lung periphery that occupy lung space most often in patients with emphysema are termed bullae. Giant bullae may occupy over 33% of the lung tissue, compress adjacent lung tissue, and reduce blood flow and ventilation to healthy tissue. Surgical removal can allow compressed lung tissue that is still functional to expand.

Lung volume reduction surgery is removal of lung tissue that has been most damaged by tobacco smoking, usually the 20% to 30% of lung tissue located in the upper part of each lung. This procedure is not done often; it is usually done on patients who have severe emphysema and marked hyperinflation of the airways and air spaces.

Lung transplantation is surgical therapy for people with advanced lung disease. Patients with COPD are the largest single category of people who undergo lung transplantation. In general, these COPD patients are usually at COPD stage three or four with severe symptoms and generally, without transplantation, have a life expectancy of about two years or less.

Return to COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

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