New treatment to improve COPD patients

Vietnamese doctors have applied new treatment called ‘endoscopic lung volume reduction’ - a minimally invasive non-surgical procedure that involves the insertion of ‘endobronchial valves’- which can significantly improve lung function measures and quality of life for patients with emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) .

Medical workers are performing a minimally invasive non-surgical procedure to insert an ‘endobronchial valves’- which can significantly improve lung function measures and quality of life for patients with emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (Photo: SGGP)

Around 4.2 percent of Vietnamese people aged over 40 reported having been told by a doctor or other health professional that they had COPD, a progressive disease that makes them hard to breathe.

Especially, more inhabitants in major cities such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are suffering the disease. The chronic disease is a heavy burden for sufferers as treatment fee is very expensive and it takes long time to treat. Moreover, sufferers have various complications.

Worse, the number of COPD patients in the country as well as in the world is on upward trend because of polluted environment. Moreover, smokers are vulnerable to the disease.

According to the World Health Organization, over 600 million are COPD sufferers and more than 3 million of them die every year.  COPD is the fourth leading cause of death after heart disease, cancer and cerebrovascular accident

To improve COPD patients’ living quality, physicians of the Army Hospital No.103 have performed a minimally invasive non-surgical procedure to insert an ‘endobronchial valves’. With the valve/s in place, when a patient exhales, air and secretions are able to move through the valve and out of the lung compartment that is fed by that airway. But when the patient inhales, the valve closes and blocks air from entering that lung compartment.

Professor Hoang Manh An, the hospital’s director, said that the new treatment has been applied in many countries in the world. The hospital is the first to carry out the treatment on many patients in the country.

The hospital will transfer the treatment technique to other hospitals including Pham Ngoc Thach in Ho Chi Minh City which is specialized in treating people suffering lung disease to reduce treatment cost.

By Trung Kien – Translated by Uyen Phuong

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