End Stage Lung Disease

Wickii Vigneswaran, MD, MBA, FACS

Thoracic Surgeon located in Maywood, IL & Elmhurst, IL

There may not be a cure for end-stage lung disease, but Wickii Vigneswaran, MD, in Maywood, Illinois, offers treatment solutions to improve the length and quality of your life. With over 25 years of experience in thoracic and cardiovascular surgery, Dr. Vigneswaran strives to provide the highest quality care for lung conditions, including lung volume reduction surgery, at his Chicago practice. If you’re living with end-stage lung disease, call Wickii Vigneswaran, MD, or schedule an appointment online today.

End Stage Lung Disease Q & A

What is end-stage lung disease?

End-stage lung disease describes the state when your lungs can’t remove carbon dioxide or supply your body with the oxygen it needs. This state is generally due to conditions or diseases that impact how your lungs work, including how blood and air flow in and out of your lungs, as well as how gas exchanges in the alveoli, or air sacs, within your lungs.

You can have end-stage lung disease for several reasons, such as:

  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Emphysema or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Pulmonary fibrosis or scarring of your lungs
  • Primary pulmonary hypertension, or pulmonary vascular disease

Signs and symptoms of end-stage lung disease vary depending on its cause and of the amount of carbon dioxide or oxygen levels in your blood.

What are the symptoms of end-stage lung disease?

In the final stages of lung disease, you often have low blood oxygen levels, and your lung function often drops to 30% or less. These changes lead to a variety of symptoms, including:

  • Increased shortness of breath
  • Coughing and wheezing
  • Mucus production in the lungs
  • Feeling exhausted

When you have end-stage lung disease, even simple tasks like making the bed or cooking dinner can become impossible because of your airflow limitations.

How is end-stage lung disease treated?

Unfortunately, there is no cure for end-stage lung disease. In most cases, your treatment plans help manage your condition and symptoms over time. These generally include:

Medical Treatments include

  • Bronchodilators
  • Inhaled steroids and combination inhalers
  • Antibiotics and vaccinations to reduce your risk of infection
  • Lifestyle modifications like quitting smoking and reducing stress
  • Oxygen therapy
  • Pulmonary vasodilators

Surgical Treatment for end-stage Lung Disease include

  • Lung Volume reduction surgery
  • Pulmonary Thrombo-endarterectomy
  • Lung Transplantation

Dr. Vigneswaran also offers lung volume reduction surgery.

What is lung volume reduction surgery?

Lung volume reduction surgery is a procedure designed to improve breathing in men and women with end-stage Emphysema.
During this procedure, Dr. Vigneswaran removes small sections of damaged tissue so your remaining lung tissue can function more effectively. After removing 20-30% of damage from each lung, your diaphragm also relaxes.
In most cases, lung volume reduction surgery reduces your shortness of breath, improves your capacity for exercise, and improves your overall quality of life.
For more information on lung volume reduction surgery and end-stage lung disease, call Wickii Vigneswaran, MD, or schedule an appointment online today.