Man becomes first to receive new treatment for COPD in Joplin


JOPLIN, Mo. — A Joplin patient can breath a little easier these days, the first in the region to test a new treatment.

It’s the spiration valve system, or SVS.

It’s minimally invasive, replacing a much larger chest surgery that resections part of a lung.

Joyce Hair, Patient’s Wife, said, “It was horrible to watch the decline of this disease.”

Joyce Hair of Joplin is talking about her husband David’s breathing issues.

David Hair, Joplin Patient, said, “The diagnosis is COPD which destroys part of the lungs.”

Over the years, it’s caused more and more issues – eventually putting him on oxygen 24/7.

Then Dr. Grant Pierson suggested a new treatment using microscopic valves.

Dr. Grant Pierson, Pulmonologist, said, “We go in and we drop these millimeter size valves – it’s a one way valve. It allows air to go out from that area of the lung but not back in.”

Minimizing the impact from damaged areas of the lung and shifting the burden to a healthier portion.

“It has the potential to change their life.”

David is the first patient in the Joplin area with SVS.

The out patient procedure requires general anesthesia but is over in less than 15 minutes.

The impact is unique to each patient, but opens up a range of new possibilities.

“It helps them to be less short of breath, walk farther, less oxygen possibly and even just improve their day to day.”

“His horizons – it just opens up a big window for him,” said Joyce Hair.

The valves vary in size from five to nine millimeters – with an average of three used per patient.

It’s already reduced his oxygen use from five to three liters a day – and greatly expanded how far he can walk without getting winded.

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