Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

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Duke’s nationally ranked lung program sets standards for treatment and management of COPD in North Carolina and around the world. COPD, short for 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.

COPD: Early diagnosis, personal care and pulmonary rehabilitation

Our team of specialists see patients on a daily basis who struggle with wheezing, coughing, extreme shortness of breath and frequent lung infections. We offer the latest diagnostic tools for detecting COPD, chronic bronchitis and emphysema early and can 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 you don’t respond to traditional treatment options, we may recommend surgery. No matter which course of treatment you undergo, our team is committed to helping you control your COPD symptoms and maximize your lung function.

Choose Duke for help managing your COPD because we offer:

  • Unmatched experience and expertise. Our lung team, which is consistently ranked in the top five by U.S. News and World Report, features a dedicated airway research center and a lung transplant team that is also among the most active in the nation. In addition, lung care programs around the world rely on our doctors for guidance on how to structure their pulmonary rehabilitation programs.
  • A personal care team. Your team may include lung doctors, counselors, rehab specialists, and other healthcare professionals who address your unique healthcare needs. This health care team will help you manage your emphysema or chronic bronchitis, as well as your COPD symptoms.
  • Continued support after treatment. Our five-week pulmonary rehabilitation program 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 your lung function.
  • Latest medical approaches to care. We actively research the latest COPD treatments that advance care, and were among the first in the nation to offer a pulmonary rehab program as part of our lung care practice.



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