The official blog of the Lung Institute.
Today, there are many types of treatments for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) available. You can hardly turn on the television without seeing an advertisement come on about some new COPD inhaler or other form of treatment. That being said, it’s important to know your options. Many COPD treatments come with unwanted side effects.
Popular COPD Treatments
According to the Heart Lung and Blood Institute, a branch of the National Institutes of Health, there are many popular COPD treatments such as:
Medications – including bronchodilators and inhaled corticosteroids. There are multiple types of bronchodilators on the market. It’s important to speak with your doctor about which type is right for you. Certain bronchodilators and corticosteroids can cause elevated blood pressure and increase the risk of pneumonia.
Pulmonary Rehab – this treatment option involves exercises to manage lung disease, along with lifestyle counseling. Pulmonary rehab not only helps improve your quality of life, it can also help you cope live with a chronic disease.
Oxygen Treatments – oxygen therapy can help with shortness of breath and difficulty breathing. Not all people with lung disease need oxygen therapy. Speak with your doctor about the possibility of oxygen therapy for you. Some people may need to have supplemental oxygen 24/7 while others only need it at certain times of day.
Surgery – severe cases of lung disease may result in the need for surgery. Single or double transplant surgery is a common recommendation for individuals in the final stages of their disease progression. Transplants have risk factors. Read more about stem cell therapy vs. lung transplant.
Stem Cell Therapy – this treatment option has emerged in the last decade as a viable option for individuals suffering with lung disease. One of the greatest benefits of stem cell therapy is that it can be prescribed to individuals who were just diagnosed with lung disease and to those that are stage 4. Learn about the stages of COPD also referred to as the COPD Gold Guidelines.
Benefits of Stem Cell Therapy
If you’re not familiar with stem cell therapy, here are some simple need-to-know facts that can help you determine whether or not this treatment is right for you.
Minimally Invasive – The stem cell therapy performed by the Lung Institute is minimally invasive. Our physicians derive stem cells from the patient through the use of an IV and/or through mini liposuction. There are other stem cell therapies performed by other providers that derive stem cells from a patient’s bone marrow. This is considered an invasive procedure and is often considered more painful than a blood-derived procedure.
Safe and Effective – Since the stem cells come from a patient’s own body there is very little risk of graft versus host disease (rejection). Many individuals are turning to stem cell therapy as an alternative to a lung transplant.
Ethically Sound – You may have read articles or heard news segments putting the ethics of stem cell treatments into question. It is important to note that the stem cell therapies that cause this argument are those that utilize fetal stem cells. The Lung Institute does NOT use any type of fetal or embryonic stem cells in our procedures. We only use autologous, adult stem cells—those from the patient’s own body.
Outpatient & Convenient – One great aspect of autologous stem cell therapy performed at the Lung Institute is that the procedure is performed over the course of 3 days with each office visit only lasting a few hours. Patients are allowed to return home or to the comfort of their hotel accommodations each day. There is also minimal downtime associated with our procedures.