What we do
We offer advanced medical and surgical options for the management and treatment of end-stage emphysema and its symptoms. We have access to, and expertise in, new and novel treatments for emphysema as well as research projects.
Who we care for
Our clinic is aimed at patients with end-stage emphysema or COPD patients who are no longer responding to conventional medical therapy.
What to expect
We will assess each patient in detail and discuss with you all of the treatment options that are available and best suited to the type of disease that you have.
Commonly asked questions
What is Emphysema (COPD)?
Emphysema is a chronic disease that causes damage to the lungs. It can lead to them becoming over inflated, making it difficult to breathe.
Find out more by visiting the Lung Foundation Australia.
Who can get Emphysema (COPD)?
- smokers or past smokers
- some people who have worked or lived in places that were very dusty or smoky for many years
- it can sometimes be inherited
What are the treatments for Emphysema (COPD)?
Treatments for emphysema include stopping smoking, exercise training, inhaled medication and oxygen.
In severe emphysema, treatments aimed at decreasing the volume of the lungs may help some people.
What is (LVRS)?
- LVRS is a surgical procedure to remove diseased parts of the lung
- during LVRS about one quarter of the most diseased parts of the lungs are removed
- the removal of this lung tissue allows more space for the good lung tissue to expand and work as normal
- this surgery is performed as a key-hole operation and generally involves a 5-7 day stay in hospital
What are the benefits of LVRS?
- some relief of shortness of breath
- improved function of the lungs (up to 30% improvement)
- improved ability to exercise and carry out daily activities
- better quality of life
What are the risks of LVRS?
Not all patients with emphysema will benefit from surgery. Only about 1 in 5 patients with emphysema will be good candidates for lung reduction surgery.
Like any surgery, there are risks involved. These risks vary between patients. Your surgeon will discuss these with you at your appointment.
Are there alternatives to surgery?
Generally speaking, the same patients will be good candidates for non-surgical lung reduction using endobronchial valves.
What is an endobronchial valve?
- lung volume reduction can now take place without surgery
- endobronchial valves can be placed in the diseased parts of the lungs
- the valve stops air getting into the diseased parts of the lungs when breathing in, which means that the healthy parts of the lung get the oxygen
- the valve also allows air and mucus out when breathing out
- endobronchial valves are placed in the airway under a general anaesthetic
What are the benefits of an endobronchial valve?
Recent medical studies have shown some benefits to patients in the short term including:
- the lungs working better
- patients being able to walk slightly further in 6 minutes
- better quality of life
There has been little evidence about the long term benefits.
What procedure is best for me, endobronchial valves or lung volume reduction surgery?
Lung volume reduction surgery provides you with a higher chance of improvement in lung function and quality of life. However, it does have a slightly increased risk of complications and death.
Endobronchial valves provide you with a lesser chance of improvement but carry much lower risk of complications and death.
The procedure you choose is dependent upon many things but most importantly upon what you, as the patient, feel is right, in conjuction with detailed discussions with your doctor.
As well as the above treatments, the End-stage COPD clinic has access to research projects and new technologies aimed treating end-stage emphysema.
How to access this clinic
Referral from your GP
You need a referral letter from your GP or medical practitioner to access this service.
Your doctor will need to fax your referral letter to us. We will be in contact with you in clinically recommended times, depending on waiting list length. If there is no waiting list, you will receive an appointment booking letter or we will contact you to arrange a suitable time.
What to bring
Every time you come
- Medicare card
- Health Care Card and/or concession card (if you have one)
- Private health insurance card (if applicable/if you want to use it)
- Adverse drug alert card (if you have one)
- Previous x-ray films, scans, ultrasounds or any other test results or reports
- Medicines you need to take while you are here
- List of medicines you are currently taking (or the boxes), including medicines you have bought without a prescription, such as herbal supplements and vitamins
- Glasses, hearing aid, walking frame
For a clinic appointment
- Your appointment letter
- Any special items listed on your letter
- TAC or Workcover claim number (if relevant)
|Friday||The Alfred||9.00am - 12.30pm|
- Mr Julian Gooi: Cardiothoracic Surgery & Transplantation
- Dr Miranda Paraskeva: Allergy, Immunology and Respiratory Medicine
- Dr Eli Dabscheck: Respiratory and Sleep physician
- Prof Gregory Snell: Allergy, Immunology and Respiratory Medicine
- Prof Trevor Williams: Allergy, Immunology and Respiratory Medicine
- Mr Adam Zimmet: Cardiothoracic Surgery & Transplantation