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Innovative Alternatives to Surgery for Emphysema

Norton Pulmonary Specialists is a leader in treating lung diseases such as emphysema for patients in Louisville and Southern Indiana.

The board-certified and fellowship-trained specialists at Norton Pulmonary Specialists have the experience and training to manage emphysema and provide leading-edge alternatives to surgery.

Our physicians can perform innovative procedures such as endobronchial lung volume reduction therapy. Using a bronchoscope, our interventional pulmonologists are experienced at implanting valves in your lungs to ease breathing.

Emphysema and chronic bronchitis typically come together. Both are forms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Our specialists have the experience and training to provide a precise diagnosis and customize a customized treatment plan for both conditions.

What Is Emphysema?

If you have emphysema, the air sacs (alveoli) in your lungs are damaged. The air sacs have ruptured, leading to fewer large air sacs instead of many small ones. The result is less surface area to absorb oxygen out of your breath and transfer it to your blood.

The ruptured air sacs don’t allow you to exhale all of your breath. The result is less room for fresh air with oxygen.

Typical causes of emphysema include long-term exposure to tobacco or marijuana smoke and air pollution.

Emphysema Treatment

Treatments include medication, therapy and surgery. Sometimes one method will work, and sometimes patients need a combination of treatments. With an entire team working for you, we evaluate your specific condition and recommend a treatment plan that is suited to you.

For some patients with emphysema, the interventional pulmonologists at Norton Pulmonary Specialists use an innovative procedure to free up the healthier part of your lungs to do their work.

As an alternative to lung volume reduction surgery, we offer endobronchial lung volume reduction therapy. Our interventional pulmonologists can insert a valve to essentially shut down, rather than remove, diseased lung tissue.

Other treatment steps:

  • Quitting smoking is one of the most important steps toward treating COPD. Norton Healthcare offers smoking cessation classes in groups or one-on-one sessions.
  • Shortness of breath can make eating difficult. We’ll work with you on an eating plan that meets your nutritional needs.
  • Bronchodilators help open your airways and make breathing easier. Some bronchodilators are combined with inhaled steroids.
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation can help you stay active.
  • Oxygen therapy delivers oxygen through nasal prongs or a mask. Extra oxygen can reduce your COPD symptoms, protect your heart and help you sleep at night.

We meet as a team every week to collaborate on all of our cases, to bring you comprehensive care. When you work with Norton Pulmonary Specialists you work with a team of research specialists, physicians and medical professionals dedicated to finding the best treatment for you.

Care That’s Convenient for You

  • Our staff includes interventional pulmonologists who are trained and experienced in minimally invasive diagnostics and treatment, including robotic-assisted bronchoscopy, meaning you’ll have access to advanced technology for your care.
  • We have seven convenient Louisville-area locations: Northeastern Louisville, downtown Louisville, Newburg, Pleasure Ridge Park and Mount Washington, Kentucky; in Southern Indiana, Jeffersonville and Scottsburg.
  • We provide pulmonary care and respiratory management of critical care patients at Norton Audubon Hospital, Norton Brownsboro Hospital and Norton Hospital.
  • Norton Healthcare’s pulmonary rehabilitation program has three locations in Louisville and is certified by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation.
  • We work as a team with referring physicians, including pediatricians.
  • Medicare, Medicaid and most major commercial insurance plans are accepted.

About Norton Pulmonary Specialists

The board-certified and fellowship-trained physicians with Norton Pulmonary Specialists are leaders in caring for Louisville and Southern Indiana patients with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema and other lung diseases.

  • More than two dozen board-certified and fellowship-trained physicians with extensive experience specialize in diagnosis and management of all forms of lung diseases and sleep disorders, so you can get the care you need.
  • The Norton Pulmonary Specialists team pursues leading-edge treatments, and our specialists are investigators on many clinical trials that give patients access to the latest treatments.
  • Our specialists use robotic-assisted bronchoscopy to perform minimally invasive biopsies of the lung, which allows for greater precision during the important diagnostic procedure.  
  • Norton Pulmonary Specialists is accredited by the American College of Chest Physicians, the American Thoracic Society, the American College of Physicians and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
  • Our providers will give you a precise diagnosis and develop a customized treatment plan for your lung condition, so you can get back to living your best life.
  • For asthma, your physician will work with you to develop a written asthma action plan to help you manage your symptoms.
  • Medicare, Medicaid and most major commercial insurance plans are accepted.
  • Communicate with your provider, manage appointments, refill prescriptions and more anytime from a computer or mobile device with a free Norton MyChart account.

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