Bakersfield Heart Hospital introduces new procedure available for COPD patients

Local News

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The FDA has approved a new device to help patients with severe COPD-emphysema breathe easier without undergoing major surgery and Bakersfield Heart Hospital is the first in Central California to offer it.

At a news conference Tuesday, doctors talked aobut the endo-bronchial zephyr valve. They say the procedure involves putting tiny valves in a patient’s airways, to block diseased parts of the lungs where air gets trapped.

So far, five patients have undergone the procedure. One patient, Roman Weltin, says the procedure has given him a “new life.”

“Before I wouldn’t be able to stand up here and talk to you and breathe, and now I can,” he said.

“It’s amazing to be able to walk from here out to the car without having to stop five or six times.”

The FDA approved the new valve last year, but doctors say it has been used in Europe for years.

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