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Guthrie offers groundbreaking treatment for COPD

Published: May. 9, 2022 at 6:30 PM EDT
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SAYRE PA (WBNG) -- The Guthrie clinic says that Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or COPD is one of the leading causes of death in the United States.

The clinic said there is no cure for the progressive disease, but a new treatment may help patients breathe a little easier.

Dr. Boyd Hehn told 12 News he is the only one in the region offering this minimally invasive treatment for COPD.

Patients with COPD live with severe shortness of breath making simple activities like walking, talking, and even eating difficult. Dr. Hehn said as a patient begin to do something they breathe faster filling their lungs and running out of room to breathe.

The treatment he offers is putting valves in a lung that causes the lung to shrink over a period of time which will allow the healthier parts of the lungs to expand so patients can breathe more easily.

This treatment is the first FDA-approved procedure that can help COPD patients without the risks that come with major surgery.

Dr. Hehn told 12 News the disease is preventable. He said the majority of COPD is smoking-related.

Dr. Hehn hopes education in this treatment is increased so more patients will have access to it in more locations.