The Hospital Moinhos de Vento Emphysema Treatment Group is focused on improving the quality of life of people with emphysema. These patients usually find it very difficult to move around. In many cases, even the simplest tasks of daily living are a major challenge.
Until recently, the only treatment options for people with emphysema were lung volume reduction surgery or lung transplant—procedures that come with high morbidity and mortality rates. However, new minimally invasive alternatives have since been developed for the treatment of emphysema. One of these options is placement of one-way endobronchial valves. The purpose of these valves is to prevent air from becoming trapped in areas of the lung that have been damaged by emphysema. This entrapment of air causes the shortness of breath and inability to perform daily activities thus making emphysema such a disabling condition. Most patients receive three or four valves. The implant procedure itself is performed under sedation, and usually takes about 30 minutes. However, patients can expect to stay in hospital for at least a week, because prior assessment and a brief period of post-procedure observation are essential factors for success in one-way valve therapy. If the need arises, valves can easily be removed.
Endobronchial valve treatment is currently available in over 20 countries, including Europe, Asia, Australia, and Brazil. In Brazil, The Hospital Moinhos de Vento, one of the most experienced treatment centers in the world, is still the only facility to provide this choice of treatment. Thus far, we have implanted more than 450 valves and treated over 150 patients from Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, Colombia and Argentina. The directors of the Emphysema Treatment Group, Dr. Hugo Goulart de Oliveira and Dr. Amarilio Vieira de Macedo Neto, were responsible for bringing one-way endobronchial valve technology to Brazil, and have taken part in multinational trials of this novel treatment approach.
The Group has also trained more than 100 physicians from other countries and Brazilian states in the valve placement procedure. The 1st Emphysema Treatment Group Course program was held in October 2009, and the second training program was held in 2010. By providing these hands-on training modules, the Emphysema Treatment Group has also established key partnerships with prominent physicians in other states, such as Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Goiás, Mato Grosso, Ceará, Santa Catarina, Bahia and Paraná, and other countries, such as Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina and Colombia.
In some patients, breathlessness may originate in the bronchi (the passages that convey air to and from the alveoli), due to a condition known as dynamic airway obstruction. Some of these patients may benefit from placement of prosthetic devices in the trachea (windpipe) or bronchi to relieve shortness of breath. The Group’s physicians perform this procedure as well, using an innovative approach.
Seeking to restore and maintain patient’s quality of life, the Group provides a multidisciplinary approach to patient care, drawing on the expertise of various professionals in order to provide the best possible assessment of available treatment options for relieving the burden of emphysema.
Watch the video below and learn how the one-way bronchial valves work:
“In June 2009, I went to Iowa to get a closer look at a CT analysis software that had been presented at the annual congress of the American Thoracic Society. The accuracy and importance of that product for the activity that we were developing in the Hospital Moinhos de Vento Emphysema Treatment Group were worth the effort. At that moment a friendship and professional relationship was built with the VIDA Diagnostics Inc. (“VIDA”) team. The first picture (June 2009) shows me; Dr. Geoffrey McLenann, MD, PhD, and co-founder of VIDA; Rosanna Byersdorfer, director of Business Operations and Quality of VIDA; and Murilo Pundek Rocha, representative of PulmonX in Brazil. The honest, reliable and professional way of working of this team has soon captivated me. Since then, we have been exchanging information and mutual bets that have been found to be extremely positive for us and for our patients. The second picture (Oct. 2015) shows me and Susan Wood, PhD, current president and CEO of VIDA, during the exhibition of the 25th Annual Congress of the European Respiratory Society in Amsterdam, where the company received the “PRODUCT OF OUTSTANDING INTEREST AWARD FOR PRECISION PULMONARY IMAGING SOLUTION”. On behalf of the team of Hospital Moinhos de Vento Emphysema Treatment Group from Porto Alegre, southern Brazil, and of all patients treated by us in South America, we thank and congratulate all VIDA Diagnostics Inc. team.”