Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the name for a collection of lung diseases including chronic bronchitis, emphysema and chronic obstructive airways disease. Breathing difficulties are caused by long-term damage to the lungs, usually because of smoking. People with COPD have trouble breathing in and out, known as airflow obstruction. Their lungs become inflamed due to irritation, the inflammation leads to permanent changes in the lung.

Treating COPD

There are many ways to treat COPD and improve a patients symptoms and quality of life. These include:

  • Quitting smoking
  • Inhalers
  • Medicine
  • Nebulisers
  • Oxygen therapy
  • Non-invasive ventilation
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation
  • Surgery

Lung Volume Reduction Surgery (LVRS) is a surgical procedure to remove diseased, emphysematous lung tissue. This procedure reduces the size of an over-inflated lung and allows the expansion (growth) of the remaining lung. Lung volume reduction surgery has been shown to help improve breathing and overall quality of life in selected patients. The effectiveness of this surgery depends on the location or extent of the diseased tissue, as well as the patient’s exercise tolerance and ability to tolerate surgery.

Endobronchial valves are small, one way devices which are implanted in an airway to treat COPD. Endobronchial valves are typically implanted using a flexible bronchoscope. Once implanted, the one-way valve prevents airflow into the diseased region, while allowing trapped air and fluids to escape. Reducing the volume of the diseased region can allow healthier areas to expand and function more efficiently. The valves can easily be removed if they are not working properly.

Lung Transplant is a surgical procedure to replace a diseased or failing lung with a healthy lung, usually from a deceased donor. Depending on your medical condition, a lung transplant may involve replacing one of your lungs or both of them.  A variety of diseases and conditions can damage your lungs and hinder their ability to function effectively.

All lung transplants are performed in the Heart & Lung Transplant Unit in the Mater Misericordiae Hospital. For further information please visit:

Thoracic Surgery Ireland