Morning Mix


Spectrum Health offers Zephyr® Valve Treatment for Emphysema/COPD

Posted at 11:16 AM, Jul 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-15 11:16:39-04

Spectrum Health is one of the first hospitals in Michigan to offer a novel treatment for emphysema. The treatment uses the Zephyr® Valve system, an FDA-approved minimally invasive procedure requiring no incisions or cutting.

Dr. Gustavo Cumbo-Nacheli, Spectrum Health Interventional Pulmonologist, discusses emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and how the new treatment works.

Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are the two most common conditions that contribute to COPD. More than 15 million people in the U.S. suffer from COPD and 3.5 million of those patients have emphysema.

Emphysema is a lung condition that causes shortness of breath. In people with emphysema, the air sacs in the lungs are damaged. Over time, the inner walls of the air sacs weaken and rupture, creating larger air spaces instead of many small ones. This reduces the surface area of the lungs and the amount of oxygen that reaches the bloodstream.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs. People with COPD are at increased risk of developing heart disease, lung cancer, and a variety of other conditions.

These diseases are typically caused by long-term exposure to irritating gases or other matter, quite often from cigarette smoke.

The most common current therapies involve some combination of medication, therapy, and surgery. For end-stage lung failure, often a lung transplant is the only possibility.

The Zephyr Valve is a minimally invasive treatment requiring no incisions or cutting. The one-time procedure is done during a simple 30-60 minute bronchoscopy that requires no incision. It places an average of four tiny Zephyr valves into the airways to block diseased parts of the lungs, reducing hyperinflation of the damaged areas and allows healthier lung tissue to expand and ease the pressure off the diaphragm. The results show patients being less short of breath and having an easier time breathing

Patients can call the Spectrum Health Pulmonary office at 616-504-2988 to see if they qualify for this treatment, or visit

This segment is sponsored by Spectrum Health Medical Group.