Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital First to Offer Lung Valve Treatment for COPD Patients on the Treasure Coast

Monday, December 16th, 2019

Diego Maldonado, MD

VERO BEACH, Fla. (December 12, 2019) – Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital announced today that is now offering a new procedure designed to help patients with COPD or advanced emphysema breathe easier. The procedure, which involves placing endobronchial valves in patients’ lungs, was recently FDA-approved. Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital is the first hospital on the Treasure Coast to offer this new treatment option for patients with advanced respiratory conditions.

The treatment is performed during a bronchoscopy, a procedure that allows a doctor to examine the inside of the lungs, including the bronchi, which are the main airways into the lungs. Depending on the severity of the case, an average of one to four tiny valves are placed in the airways to block off the diseased parts of the lungs. The valves reduce hyperinflation by preventing air from being trapped in the diseased area of the lung and allowing healthier parts of the lung to take in more air, lifting pressure off the diaphragm.

“This advanced lung treatment offers patients living with COPD an opportunity to significantly improve their overall quality of life,” said Diego Maldonado, M.D., Pulmonologist at CCIRH. “We are excited to be the first hospital in our area to provide this new treatment at our Pulmonary Medicine Department. This is a perfect example of Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital striving to provide patients with the latest innovation and services.”

COPD refers to a group of lung diseases including chronic bronchitis and emphysema, a lung disease developed after years of smoking or due to the inherited disorder called alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency. Patients suffering from COPD may experience coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness and ongoing fatigue. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis affect approximately 23 million people in the United States, with emphysema most commonly found in men between the ages of 50 and 70.

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About Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. U.S. News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation’s best hospitals in its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” survey. Among Cleveland Clinic’s 66,000 employees are more than 4,200 salaried physicians and researchers and 16,600 nurses, representing 140 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic’s health system includes a 165-acre main campus near downtown Cleveland, 11 regional hospitals in northeast Ohio, more than 180 northern Ohio outpatient locations – including 18 full-service family health centers and three health and wellness centers – and locations in southeast Florida; Las Vegas, Nev.; Toronto, Canada; Abu Dhabi, UAE; and London, England. In 2018, there were 7.9 million total outpatient visits, 238,000 hospital admissions and observations, and 220,000 surgical cases throughout Cleveland Clinic’s health system. Patients came for treatment from every state and 185 countries. Visit us at Follow us at and News and resources available at

About Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital

Founded by Garnett Radin, R.N., in 1932, Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital is a 332-bed, not for profit hospital offering comprehensive medical services to the Treasure Coast community. The Welsh Heart Center, Scully-Welsh Cancer Center and Scully Endoscopy Center offer full-service programs and a multidisciplinary approach. Healthcare professionals represent specialties including orthopedic services, minimally invasive vascular surgery, neurosurgery, stroke services, robotic surgery, a state-of-the-art wound healing center, bariatric surgery and the only maternity wing in the community. The hospital features all private rooms and is the largest private-sector employer in Indian River County.

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