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Surgery for emphysema

NEW YORK, July 27 (Praxis Press) Lung-volume-reduction surgery is thought to improve lung function, walking distance, and quality of life in patients with severe emphysema, but the benefits of this surgery over standard medical treatment have not been rigorously studied. To compare this procedure with continuing medical treatment Geddes and colleagues studied patients randomized to received surgery (n=24) or continued medical treatment (n=24). Of the patients, five in the surgical group and thre

July 31, 2000

NEW YORK, July 27 (Praxis Press) Lung-volume-reduction surgery is thought to improve lung function, walking distance, and quality of life in patients with severe emphysema, but the benefits of this surgery over standard medical treatment have not been rigorously studied. To compare this procedure with continuing medical treatment Geddes and colleagues studied patients randomized to received surgery (n=24) or continued medical treatment (n=24). Of the patients, five in the surgical group and three in the medical group died. After six months, the median forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) had increased by 70 ml in the surgical group and decreased by 80 ml in the medical group. The median shuttle-walking distance increased by 50 m in the surgical group and decreased by 20 m in the medical group. Five of the 19 surviving patients in the surgical group received no benefit from the treatment. In selected patients with severe emphysema, lung-volume-reduction surgery can improve FEV1, walking distance, and quality of life. Whether the surgery reduces mortality is uncertain.

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