What is lung volume reduction surgery?

Lyall A. Gorenstein, MD
Thoracic Surgery (Cardiothoracic Vascular)
Lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS), involving removal of sections of damaged lung tissue, has shown promising results for patients with end-stage emphysema. By removing the most diseased tissue (up to 30% of the lung volume), the goal is to improve the residual lung function and respiratory mechanics. LVRS is performed by VATS which minimizes postoperative pain and allows faster ambulation and recovery.

Lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS) is an innovative surgical treatment for select patients with severe emphysema, one of several respiratory disorders labeled as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The goal of LVRS is to remove the worst areas of damaged lung tissue so that the remaining tissue can function better. This surgery can be performed using an open surgical approach (cutting through the breast bone to open the chest) or by a minimally invasive, video-assisted thoracic procedure. This method uses 3-5 small incisions to allow the surgeon to insert specially designed instruments between the ribs and into the chest. With either method, 25 Percent-30 Percent of the most damage regions of the lung volume are removed. Scientists believe that by surgically removing functionally useless tissue, air will move in and out of the remaining lung more readily, thereby easing symptoms associated with advanced emphysema and improving overall lung function.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.