Monday is World Lung Day: One COPD patient has new procedure that saved his life

Monday is World Lung Day.
Published: Sep. 21, 2023 at 6:01 PM EDT

CINCINNATI (WXIX) - Monday is World Lung Day, a day to spread awareness about lung diseases, and one patient is opening up about a new procedure that saved his life.

Rick Scroggins is a patient at The Christ Hospital for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

Recently, Scroggins talked about dealing with the disease before and after a relatively new procedure.

“There [were] times when I couldn’t even go with my wife and walk through the mall or walk around anywhere and now I’m very much able to go and do as much as I really want to do,” Scroggins said.

The procedure performed on Scroggins, called Zephyr Valves, has been around in the U.S. medical realm for the last few years now.

“There’s a couple of things [physicians] do before we do the actual procedure to make sure the patient qualifies and if they do so, we place the valve through the bronchoscope through a catheter in the airway,” Vishal D. Jivan, MD at The Christ Hospital said.

According to The Christ Hospital’s website, “endobronchial valve implants, also known as Zephyr Valves, are a minimally invasive treatment option for people with severe COPD and emphysema. The valves are implanted in selected airways of the lungs without incisions or cutting.”

When scanning Scroggins before performing the procedure, Dr. Jivan noticed something.

“A little over a year ago [before the incident], just because of having scans for the valves, [Dr. Jivan] discovered [Scroggins] had lung cancer in [his] right lung. Had it not been for those valves and for [Dr. Jivan] being the kind of doctor he is and discovering it, I wouldn’t be here today,” Scroggins said.

More than 12.5 million Americans suffer from COPD each year, according to

COPD is just one of several lung diseases that Americans face, and World Lung Day is a day to spread awareness about lung diseases. Dr. Jivan says the most common lung diseases are asthma and COPD.

Dr. Jivan also suggests if you’re suffering from COPD and are curious about the Zephyr Valve, to ask your primary physician or pulmonologist.

To learn more about The Christ Hospital, you can visit their website here.

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