• Lung Volume Reduction Surgery: Pros & Cons

    Posted by Charlene Marshall on September 11, 2018 at 10:41 am

    Lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS) is not something that is openly encouraged by the medical team(s) at my local transplant centre. Or at least, this hasn’t been my experience or that of anyone I know well. However, it is something that other centres seem to endorse, as I see it discussed on various platforms for people living with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) such as Facebook groups, other forums or even in-person support groups. As a result, I thought I’d bring it to our forum to obtain your thoughts!

    According to the Cleveland Clinic’s website, LVRS is performed to remove diseased lung tissue to help improve a patient’s breathing ability, lung capacity and overall quality of life. According to the same website, this surgery has proven to be successful in improving patients quality of life who meet a certain criteria, which can be found via the linked page above.

    While this surgery might sound appealing for patients who meet the criteria, it is not without its risks (similar to any surgical procedure). An obvious benefit to LVRS is the possibility of increasing a patient’s ability to breathe, and eliminating their dyspnea. However, as with any major surgery there is always risk of bleeding, infection and especially incision pain following any operation. Additional risks/benefits to LVRS can be found here.

    Is this something your pulmonologist/lung specialist has ever brought forward to you as an option?

    Would you consider LVRS if it was presented to you?

    Charlene Marshall replied 5 years, 2 months ago 3 Members · 4 Replies
  • 4 Replies
  • heather-snyder

    September 16, 2018 at 10:21 pm

    Hi Charlene

    In my opinion and from what my pulmonogist advised me, the surgery would not be beneficial for patients with IPF or in my case PF. I have had a double lung transplant since but I remember discussing the surgery with a doctor at Temple. When I switch centers to UPMC they didn’t even bring it up as a viable option.



  • Charlene Marshall

    September 20, 2018 at 7:47 am

    Hi Heather,

    Thanks for getting in touch and sharing some of your experience/pulmonologists suggestions regarding this surgery. I’m always curious about others’ experiences, but especially what their doctors say about LVRS. Similar to your experience, I don’t think it is widely encouraged by many physicians overall although I am starting to hear more about it in discussions, literature, etc.
    Congratulations on your double lung transplant, that is amazing news! Hope you’re doing well 🙂


  • anne-philiben

    September 26, 2018 at 1:43 pm

    How does Lung volume reduction eliminate the cough from IPF?  What is the physiology/anatomy that causes the cough?

    • Charlene Marshall

      September 28, 2018 at 9:34 am

      Hi Anne,

      This is a really good question that unfortunately I can’t really answer. I don’t know a lot about the lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS) or the physiological benefits of it, especially around how it would reduce the cough. I’ve been reading into it, but not a lot as I was curious to hear of other patients and their doctors recommended it or not. If I find any helpful information in my search (which is kind of non-existent right now, but something I hope to look into more in future) I will pass it on for sure, especially if anything explains how it could help the IPF cough. Hope you’re doing alright Anne, thanks for writing!


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