Emphysema

Our pulmonologists help you get the treatment you need to breathe easier

When you suffer from emphysema, the air sacs in your lungs become damaged, making it difficult for you to breathe well and keeping your body from getting the oxygen it needs. Indiana University Health Pulmonology & Respiratory Care physicians provide expertise in the care of emphysema backed by pulmonology services at the Academic Health Center in Indianapolis, which U.S. News & World Report ranked among the best in the nation for high quality lung care.

OverviewSlice

Over three million people in the United States alone suffer from emphysema, a condition which can drastically affect your health and lifestyle. The air sacs in the lungs absorb oxygen from the air you breathe and transport it into the blood stream. The oxygen moves around your body, where your cells use it for energy to perform necessary functions like moving your muscles, thinking or keeping your heart pumping. Without enough oxygen, your organs can suffer. You may experience less endurance, have trouble thinking clearly or remembering things well.

Besides the lack of oxygen, the symptoms of emphysema can disrupt other aspects of your health. Because you have difficulty breathing, you may have insomnia, which means you cannot fall or stay asleep. The shortness of breath associated with emphysema may prevent you from exercising, raising your risk for obesity and heart disease. In its most severe forms, emphysema can cause your lungs to collapse, a life threatening condition.

Overview

Over three million people in the United States alone suffer from emphysema, a condition which can drastically affect your health and lifestyle. The air sacs in the lungs absorb oxygen from the air you breathe and transport it into the blood stream. The oxygen moves around your body, where your cells use it for energy to perform necessary functions like moving your muscles, thinking or keeping your heart pumping. Without enough oxygen, your organs can suffer. You may experience less endurance, have trouble thinking clearly or remembering things well.

Besides the lack of oxygen, the symptoms of emphysema can disrupt other aspects of your health. Because you have difficulty breathing, you may have insomnia, which means you cannot fall or stay asleep. The shortness of breath associated with emphysema may prevent you from exercising, raising your risk for obesity and heart disease. In its most severe forms, emphysema can cause your lungs to collapse, a life threatening condition.

TreatmentSlice

IU Health physicians develop individualized treatment plans for your needs to minimize the impact of emphysema on your daily life. They focus on getting you back to better health by providing high quality care every step of the way. IU Health has the only healthcare system in Indiana that performs lung transplants.

Your physicians conduct emphysema and COPD research that gives you access to the latest treatments and knowledge of emphysema. Your IU Health Pulmonology & Respiratory Care physicians offer comprehensive treatment for emphysema, including:

  • Education. Specialists can teach you how to change your lifestyle to better manage your emphysema.
  • Smoking cessation support. Your physicians will provide you with the support you need to quit smoking to reduce the severity of your emphysema.
  • Prescription medications. Prescription inhalers can keep your airways open, making it easier to breathe.
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation. During pulmonary rehabilitation, you’ll learn breathing and physical exercises that can improve your symptoms.
  • Oxygen therapy. Emphysema can keep your body from getting the oxygen it needs. Oxygen therapy delivers concentrated levels of oxygen to try to improve your body’s functions.
  • Bullectomy. Your physicians may use bullectomy to surgically remove air pockets in your lungs. Without the air pockets, you can breathe better.
  • Lung volume reduction surgery. Your physicians may remove the damaged areas of your lungs so the healthy airways can work better.
  • Lung transplant. IU Health is the only healthcare system in the state of Indiana that performs lung transplants. Physicians use this procedure only in extreme cases of emphysema.

Treatment

IU Health physicians develop individualized treatment plans for your needs to minimize the impact of emphysema on your daily life. They focus on getting you back to better health by providing high quality care every step of the way. IU Health has the only healthcare system in Indiana that performs lung transplants.

Your physicians conduct emphysema and COPD research that gives you access to the latest treatments and knowledge of emphysema. Your IU Health Pulmonology & Respiratory Care physicians offer comprehensive treatment for emphysema, including:

  • Education. Specialists can teach you how to change your lifestyle to better manage your emphysema.
  • Smoking cessation support. Your physicians will provide you with the support you need to quit smoking to reduce the severity of your emphysema.
  • Prescription medications. Prescription inhalers can keep your airways open, making it easier to breathe.
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation. During pulmonary rehabilitation, you’ll learn breathing and physical exercises that can improve your symptoms.
  • Oxygen therapy. Emphysema can keep your body from getting the oxygen it needs. Oxygen therapy delivers concentrated levels of oxygen to try to improve your body’s functions.
  • Bullectomy. Your physicians may use bullectomy to surgically remove air pockets in your lungs. Without the air pockets, you can breathe better.
  • Lung volume reduction surgery. Your physicians may remove the damaged areas of your lungs so the healthy airways can work better.
  • Lung transplant. IU Health is the only healthcare system in the state of Indiana that performs lung transplants. Physicians use this procedure only in extreme cases of emphysema.

ResourcesSlice

Emphysema can have a huge impact on your life, but education and support from the external websites below can help you manage your condition.

Resources

Emphysema can have a huge impact on your life, but education and support from the external websites below can help you manage your condition.

Patient Stories for EmphysemaSlice

Patient Stories for Emphysema

News and EventsSlice