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What are Coil Treatment Procedures?

COPD, also known as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, is a disease that occurs due to obstruction of the air sacs called bronchi. It presents symptoms such as shortness of breath or cough. One of the most frequently applied treatment methods for COPD is COIL (smart spiral wire) therapy. So what is COIL therapy, how is it done, and what are its benefits? We have gathered everything you need to know about COIL treatment.

What is Coil Therapy?

Recently COPD has been treated with interventional methods and drug therapy. Coil, one of the new treatment methods developed for this purpose, is a wire; usually platinum, used to fill the aneurysm. In emphysema, it is possible to enter the respiratory tract through bronchoscopes, place devices called valves or coils, and thus reduce the lung volume to relieve the patients.

The coil is inserted in emphysematous areas in the lungs, determined via computerized tomography. The inserted coil is straight when first opened and takes the form of a spiral when placed. When the coil is on, the lung contracts, and the small airways open, too, allowing excess air to escape. Thus, we preserve the natural flexibility of the lung. The coil highly affects the lung tissue level.

What are the Coil Treatment Procedures?

Coil treatment is not a surgical operation but is performed in the operating room under general anesthesia. The patient must be hospitalized for the first control a day before the procedure. After the anesthesia and cardiology departments approve the operation, the operation is performed. The steps of coil treatment are as follows:

  • The patient is sedated,
  • With the help of a catheter in the bronchoscopy, we place the coils,
  • On average, 10-12 coils are placed on the damaged area, thus eliminating the damaged area.

After the procedure, the patient's breathing is directed from the damaged area to the healthy side of the lung. This operation takes approximately 45 minutes. This procedure is not a surgical intervention, it is an endoscopic procedure, and therefore there are no incision marks or sutures. The patient is discharged after the chest X-ray the next day.

Results from Studies on Coil Therapy

There are many studies on Coil treatment, and there are actual results from these studies. Coil therapy is proven beneficial, especially in patients with emphysema who do not have difficulty breathing. But there needs to be more certainty about removing the wires.

At the same time, partially intact lung tissue must be present for the wires to function thoroughly. Coil therapy is not recommended if the lung tissue is severely damaged or a large air cyst has formed. Finally, the number of patients treated with Coil therapy is minimal. Therefore, studies involving more patients are needed to see both the efficacy and reliability of this procedure and the long-term results.

Benefits of Coil Therapy

Recently, effective results have been achieved regarding the benefits of patients treated with Coil treatment. According to clinical studies conducted in Europe, we can say that:

  • An increase in lung functions, exercise capacity, and quality of life have improved,
  • Improvements lasting more than one year,
  • Coils are efficient in patients with homogeneous emphysema,
  • Collateral ventilation has not developed because coiled wires do not obstruct the airway.

Since coil therapy is not a standard global method, the results are limited. With the widespread use of coil therapy, we will have much more information about the treatment in the future.

What Is Emphysema?

Emphysema is a chronic lung condition that can cause irreversible lung damage. The most important symptoms of emphysema are as follows:

  • Having difficulty breathing even when resting,
  • Feeling of drowning,
  • Never-ending fatigue,
  • Wheezing or a chronic cough,
  • Frequent lung infections.

If one or more of these symptoms are present in a patient, we suspect emphysema. Because there is no definitive treatment for emphysema, it can progress due to no intervention. The conditions happening in the later stages of the disease are as follows:

  • Patients who suffer from shortness of breath even at rest constantly feel fatigued and wheezing. These conditions also cause frequent lung infections.
  • Emphysema can predispose to other respiratory diseases in patients with comorbidities such as diabetes and heart disease.
  • Worsening of emphysema makes patients more sedentary. If the patient has other health problems, the situation may worsen.

Treatment Methods As An Alternative To Coil Therapy

In cases where emphysema occurs, we recommend treatment methods such as drug therapy, breathing exercises, or oxygen therapy at the first stage. However, these treatment methods may not help to treat emphysema. In this case, we recommend different treatment methods to relieve the symptoms of emphysema. One of the most common methods is lung volume reduction surgery, removing the enlarged lung tissue. In this surgical procedure, the patient may need to stay in the hospital for a very long time, and the recovery process is also quite long.

Another treatment method is endobronchial spiral therapy. This method connects the defective lung areas to the open airways, preventing the patient's airway from collapsing. After this operation, patients can breathe more easily. They stretch the airways and prevent airway collapse. This method has been standard in all of Europe since 2008.

COPDis a disease that affects many people today and usually occurs due to heavy smoking. Therefore, patients should quit smoking when they are diagnosed with COPD. At the same time, they have to regulate their living standards according to this disease. Otherwise, the condition may progress, and undesired complications may occur. It is essential to increase your quality of life. In addition, even if you do not
have symptoms, it is beneficial to visit the doctor regularly and examine your lungs.

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