Zephyr Endobronchial Valve procedure at Penn Highlands Healthcare

Zephyr Valve Treats COPD in Minimally Invasive Procedure

Zephyr Endobronchial Valve

The Zephyr Endobronchial Valve is a minimally invasive bronchoscopic treatment that can improve quality of life in patients with emphysema. Emphysema is a form of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The Zephyr valve procedure helps people with emphysema breathe easier, have fewer episodes of shortness of breath, and generally have more energy for doing the activities they enjoy.

How the Zephyr Valve Works

The Zephyr Endobronchial Valve is a device that’s inserted into the airways without any incisions or stitches. Pulmonologists perform place the endobronchial tube using a simple and commonly performed procedure called a bronchoscopy. With the patient asleep, the pulmonologist inserts a thin, flexible tube through the mouth or nose into the lungs.

Tiny Zephyr valves (typically four) are placed in the lung airways to block off the diseased parts of the lungs where air can get trapped. Keeping air from getting trapped allows the healthier parts of the lungs to expand and take in more air, resulting in patients being able to breathe easier and experience less shortness of breath. The one-time procedure takes less than an hour.

Doctor Photo In Network
Bansal, Sandeep, MD, FCCP, FACP

Critical Care

Internal Medicine

Pulmonary Medicine


Penn Highlands Lung Center - BrookvilleA Service of Penn Highlands DuBois

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The Lung Center


What are the benefits of the Zephyr valve procedure?

Despite the use of COPD medication, more than 1 million emphysema patients continue to experience symptoms of hyperinflation. Hyperinflation is when air becomes trapped in the lungs and prevents new air from coming in, causing severe shortness of breath. This means breathing is inefficient and patients have to work extra hard to breathe, which makes it difficult to perform even basic daily activities, such as walking and eating.

There are few treatment options for most patients with emphysema and there is no cure. Until now, the only other options for these patients who continued to experience hyperinflation were highly invasive treatments such as lung volume reduction surgery or lung transplantation. The Zephyr valve procedure can help improve breathing and reduce shortness of breath without major surgery.

Where is the Zephyr valve procedure performed?

The Penn Highlands Lung Center was the first pulmonary center in the central Pennsylvania region to begin offering the Zephyr valve procedure in 2018. This outpatient procedure is performed at Penn Highlands DuBois in the Advance Bronchoscopy Suite, which is used for diagnosing and treating patients with lung diseases.

Is the Zephyr valve procedure FDA-approved?

Yes, the Zephyr Endobronchial Valve was approved by the FDA in July 2018. Since 2007, more than 25,000 patients have been treated with the Zephyr Valve worldwide. The Zephyr valve procedure is included in emphysema treatment recommendations issued by leading health organizations worldwide, including the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) and the United Kingdom’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

Am I a candidate for the Zephyr valve procedure?

The Zephyr valve is FDA-approved for the treatment of emphysema, a severe form of chronic pulmonary obstructive disease (COPD), that can no longer be controlled with medication or other interventions. Not everyone with emphysema qualifies for the Zephyr valve procedure. Patient selection is based on rigorous inclusion and exclusion criteria. The treatment is performed in close collaboration by a multidisciplinary team consisting of interventional pulmonology, thoracic surgery, interventional radiology, anesthesiology and nurse and respiratory therapy navigators at the Lung Center.

Where can I get more information about the Zephyr valve?

If you have emphysema or another lung condition that makes it hard to breathe, please call the Penn Highlands Lung Center at 814-375-3770 for information and to schedule an appointment. You can get more information about the Zephyr valve here.