Keeping up with her grandson Justin has not been easy for Linda Creighton. “I would be completely out of breath,” Linda said.
The ex-3 pack-a-day smoker developed severe emphysema a few years ago and was told a lung transplant was her only option. “I guess I went into denial because I know I’m not ready to take that kind of a step,” Linda said.
Now, Dr. Gerard Criner is testing a new non-invasive treatment. “It has the potential to be huge,” Dr. Gerard Criner, Director, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Director, Temple Lung Center, Temple University School of Medicine said.
Doctors use a bronchoscope to deliver ten tiny coils into the diseased lung. The coils compress the lungs to help restore elasticity. “When it compresses the lung tissue, it actually re-tensions the lung. That increases the recoil of the lung to expand the small airways,” Dr. Criner said.
He says patients feel a difference just one hour after the coils are placed; studies done in Europe show an average 18-percent improvement in lung function.
After just one month, Linda could walk 60 percent more than before. “It really has changed my life. It has given me back a comfortable lifestyle of doing things that I normally wanted to do like taking care of my grandson,” Linda said.
Patients in the renew study receive two sets of coils placed four months apart. The multi-center study is also enrolling patients at the University of Pittsburgh.