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Bronchoscopic lung volume reduction, or BLVR, is a minimally invasive procedure performed by our Interventional Pulmonologists that uses a bronchoscope to place one-way endobronchial valves into the airways of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). BLVR is used to treat patients with COPD who are short of breath despite maximal medical therapies and who meet criteria based on lung function, heart function, lab tests, and more. BLVR is FDA approved and is included in the most recent COPD management guidelines from the Global Initiative for Obstructive Lung Diseases. In patients who qualify for the procedure, BLVR can provide improved quality of life, exercise capacity, and lung function tests.



Information for Referring Providers

Who is eligible for endobronchial valves?

  • Patients with COPD who are short of breath despite maximal guideline-based medical therapies
  • Patients with hyperinflation by lung volumes
  • Patients who have quit smoking at least 4 months ago
  • Patients who take less than 20 mg prednisone daily
  • Patients who have had less than two hospital admissions for COPD exacerbations within the last 12 months

How do I refer my patients?

  • Within UNC System:
    • Place an order for “Ambulatory referral to Pulmonology” and specify “Interventional Pulmonology – BLVR referral” in the comments
  • Outside UNC System:
    • Fax referrals to Vickie Dowdy at 984-974-8610

What can my patient expect at their first visit?

  • Patients will undergo testing on their initial clinic visit day including lung function tests, CT scan, echocardiogram, blood tests
  • Patients will meet one of our interventional pulmonologists to discuss details of the procedure and recovery, discuss their test results, and the need for any further testing or evaluation
  • Patients will get a printed summary of their visit including a plan for next steps. Information will also be sent to the referring provider, usually via fax within one week of the clinic visit