COPD - Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Emphysema, Chronic Bronchitis

Duke’s nationally ranked lung program sets standards for treatment and management of COPD in North Carolina and around the world. COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, refers to two related conditions: emphysema -- when air sacs in the lungs that help transfer oxygen into the blood are destroyed -- and chronic bronchitis -- when airways leading to the lungs become inflamed, irritated, and scarred. No matter whether you have chronic bronchitis or emphysema, we offer the latest diagnostic tools and treatments to reduce your COPD symptoms, improve your lung function, get you back to good health, and improve your quality of life.

James Downey credits Duke’s pulmonary rehab program with helping him feel better, and being in the shape he’s in today.

Helping You Manage COPD at Every Stage

If you struggle with wheezing, coughing, extreme shortness of breath, or frequent lung infections, our team of specialists can help. We offer the latest diagnostic tools for diagnosing COPD, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema early. We can help you control your symptoms through a personalized treatment plan that may include medicine, lifestyle changes, and our pulmonary rehabilitation program.

If you are in a later stage of COPD and don’t respond to traditional treatment options, we may evaluate whether you are a candidate for a more invasive therapy, such as surgical or bronchoscopic lung volume reduction, or a lung transplant. No matter which course of treatment you receive, our team is committed to helping you control your COPD symptoms and maximize your lung function.​

Choosing Where to Receive COPD Treatment

When you choose Duke for help managing your COPD, you benefit from:

  • A lung team that is consistently ranked in the top five by U.S. News and World Report, including a dedicated airway research center and a lung transplant team that is among the most active in the nation. In addition, lung care programs around the world have sought our pulmonary rehabilitation program as models for their own.
  • A personal care team that may include lung doctors (pulmonologists), counselors, rehab specialists, and other healthcare professionals. Your team will address your unique healthcare needs, helping you manage your emphysema or chronic bronchitis, as well as your COPD symptoms.
  • A five-week pulmonary rehabilitation program that teaches you how to exercise, eat right, quit smoking, lose weight, and make other lifestyle changes that will keep your chronic bronchitis and emphysema under control, improve your COPD symptoms, and maximize your lung function.
  • Our active clinical research into the latest COPD treatments.



Patient resources

Ready for an appointment?
- call us at -