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NYM Hospital pioneers new treatment

Early this year, New York Methodist Hospital began participating in an international clinical trial to investigate an important new, minimally invasive option for people with advanced widespread emphysema.

The procedure being tested, airway bypass, creates passageways in the lung for trapped air to escape with the hope of relieving emphysema symptoms like shortness of breath.

A number of patients at New York Methodist Hospital, 506 Sixth Street between Seventh & Eighth avenues in Park Slope, one of only two centers in New York City to offer the trial have become participants. Participation ranges from 12 months to five years (depending on whether they are randomly placed in the control or the airway bypass group). Study-related medical procedures are provided for at no charge and all patients are closely monitored throughout the trial. In addition, all participants receive at least six weeks of pulmonary rehabilitation therapy.

Early data suggest that the airway bypass procedure holds promise for patients with emphysema. “We’re excited about the possibility of offering the investigational procedure to emphysema patients,” said Arthur Sung, MD, director of interventional pulmonology at NYM’s Institute for Asthma and Other Lung Diseases and principal investigator for the study. “We are very hopeful that creating new passageways for airflow with the airway bypass procedure will improve lung function in patients with advanced disease.”

The opportunity to join the study is still available for qualified patients. At a minimum, participants must be over the age of 35, have advanced, widespread emphysema and must be non-smokers (or willing to stop smoking two months prior to entering the trial). Those interested in participating should call 718-780-5835 for more information.

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