Tiny lung coils offer new hope for emphysema patients

CLEVELAND, OH (KCBD) - There's a new treatment for emphysema, a disease that literally takes your breath away, a potential breakthrough that could make a huge difference for a lot of sufferers.

The problem, especially for long time smokers, when lung tissue is destroyed it loses its elasticity, so it's harder for stiff lungs to expand and recoil with each breath.

But here's what's new at the Cleveland Clinic.

It's called Renew. Doctors insert a slinky-like metal coil right into the stiff part of the lungs.

In some patients, the treatments are already bringing immediate relief.

"I didn't have any pain in my abdomen...my diaphragm wasn't compressed. I was like 'Wow this is too cool,'" Emphysema sufferer Art Greiner said.

Dr. Joseph Cicenia with the Cleveland Clinic described the procedure: "Just as springs are elastic, they give that elasticity back to the lungs. it allows for more efficient air flow to occur through the lung."

Dr. Cicenia says the coils stay in permanently, but still allow for other treatments like surgery, if it's needed.

Dr. Cicenia says more study is needed to determine the best candidates for the procedure, but so far, it looks very promising.

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