Thoracic Surgery Division
The thoracic team will discuss your evaluation with you and assist in determining your best course of treatment:
Medical therapy has been the mainstay of emphysema treatment for generations.
While it cannot reverse the disease, it can help to slow its progress, minimize
your symptoms, and make the most of your remaining lung function. Medical therapy
has several key components:
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- No Smoking: As difficult as it may be, you must break the smoking
habit. Controlling smoking behavior is the most important strategy at
all phases of the disease to prevent further progression (see
- Taking Medication and Inhalers as Prescribed: You may be given
inhaled medications and/or pills to manage your condition.
- Preventing Influenza and Pneumonia: Because people with emphysema are
particularly vulnerable to lung infections, you should have a flu vaccine every
fall and a pneumococcal vaccine every 5 to 6 years.
- Wearing Oxygen as Prescribed: If you have low oxygen levels in your
blood, long-term, continuous oxygen therapy might benefit you.
- Pulmonary Rehabilitation: The primary goal of pulmonary rehbailitation is to restore you to your
highest possible level of independent function. Rehabilitation involves exercising,
retraining the breathing muscles, learning to conserve energy, and becoming
more knowledgeable about the disease. Exercising can give you more stamina,
help you to manage shortness of breath more easily, and improve your overall
quality of life. You are likely to be pleased with the results if you stick
with the exercise program designed for you. To make this easier, the University
of Maryland Medical Center has developed a Pulmonary Rehabilitation Network
consisting of sites throughout Maryland and the surrounding states. That way,
you can be referred to a site that is close to your home.
June 7, 2010.
For more information or to schedule a consultation in our clinic, please contact us at 410-328-6366 or fax 410-328-0693.