COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, refers to two related conditions: emphysema (when air sacs in the lungs that help transfer oxygen into and carbon dioxide out of 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, Duke’s nationally ranked lung program offers the latest diagnostic tools and treatments to reduce your COPD symptoms, increase your lung function, and improve your quality of life.
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 tools for diagnosing COPD -- both chronic bronchitis and emphysema -- early. We can help you control your symptoms through a personalized treatment plan that may include medicine, lifestyle changes, and pulmonary rehabilitation.
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.
Duke Health offers locations throughout the Triangle. Find one near you.
Tests for COPD
Pulmonary Function Tests (Including Spirometry)
These tests determine whether you have COPD and the stage of your illness by measuring the amount of air in your lungs and the rate at which they empty.
CT scans take detailed 3-D images to help us evaluate your lung anatomy and lung function.
Where you receive your care matters. Duke University Hospital is proud of our team and the exceptional care they provide. They are why our pulmonology and lung surgery program is nationally ranked, and the highest ranked program in North Carolina, according to U.S. News & World Report for 2020–2021.
Choosing Where to Receive COPD Treatment
Dedicated Airway Research Center
Our lung disease program includes 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 Team of Experts
Your personal care team may include lung doctors (pulmonologists), counselors, rehab specialists, and other health care professionals. Your team will address your unique health care needs, helping you manage your emphysema or chronic bronchitis, as well as your COPD symptoms.
Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program
Our 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 maximize your lung function.
Access to Clinical Trials
Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible to participate in our active clinical research into the latest COPD treatments.