Ever since she was a little girl, Stacy has loved spending summer days walking along the beach boardwalk. However, a few years ago walking and other daily activities began to trigger “flare-ups” that made it difficult for her to breathe.
After several scary emergency room visits, Stacy was diagnosed by her local pulmonologist with emphysema. A few years later, her symptoms worsened and she needed to use oxygen support full-time. “I had to leave my job... I was only in my 50s,” reflects Stacy. “I felt like people would stare at me whenever we went out to eat because they’d think, ‘She’s so young to be on oxygen.’”
When another flare-up left Stacy hospitalized for a full week, her local pulmonologist referred her to the Temple Lung Center. “My doctor decided they had done everything they could do for me,” adds Stacy. “She had attended medical meetings [at Temple] and knew they had innovative programs.”
Stacy’s new care team at Temple determined she was eligible for a clinical trial called LIBERATE, which involves a procedure called bronchoscopic lung volume reduction (BLVR), where a special tool called a bronchoscope is used to place tiny valves in the lungs. This procedure has since been FDA-approved. To date, Temple is the only hospital to offer the new procedure, which may reduce shortness of breath and improve lung function with benefits lasting at least one year.