Cystic Fibrosis Treatment

Balance Cystic Fibrosis Treatment Needs with Your Lifestyle

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Cystic fibrosis treatment advances have made it possible for adults with cystic fibrosis to live longer and more fulfilling lives. Successfully managing the demands of your lifelong treatment can best be achieved when you partner with a team of cystic fibrosis experts, like the doctors, surgeons, and therapists in Duke’s Cystic Fibrosis Care Center, accredited by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Under our care, you will work closely with the full spectrum of cystic fibrosis specialists. 

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About Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis disease is a complex condition that is best managed by a team of experts who understand your concerns and are trained to prevent and treat the many complications that can arise. When you receive care at an accredited Cystic Fibrosis Care Center like ours, you have access to a wide range of specialists who work closely together to minimize the impact of cystic fibrosis on your daily life. We do this by providing medical services that consider your needs as a whole person, not just your lungs.

Cystic Fibrosis Videos

In this set of videos, Duke experts talk about what happens when you have cystic fibrosis -- and options for treatment.

Cystic Fibrosis Care Center Services

As a Cystic Fibrosis Care Center accredited by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, we are committed to providing the highest quality of specialized care to adults with cystic fibrosis. In addition to doctors, you have access to nutritionists, social workers, respiratory therapists, and physical therapists during your clinic appointments. A registered nurse will help coordinate these appointments to make the most of your time.

Nutritional Assessment

Because digestive problems are common in people with cystic fibrosis, your care includes a nutritional assessment and counseling from a dietitian with expertise in cystic fibrosis. Our nutritionist will help you design an eating plan to ensure proper nutrition and improve your overall health. If you have pancreatic insufficiency, we will work with you to determine the appropriate pancreatic enzyme replacement regimen to make sure you absorb the nutrients you eat.

Physical Therapy

When needed, our physical therapists will work with you to develop a customized exercise plan that improves your breathing and lung function and optimizes your posture. This can include teaching you breathing and exercise techniques that help open your airways and increase mobility in your muscles and joints.

Respiratory Therapy

Our clinic’s respiratory therapists provide guidance on airway clearance and breathing treatment techniques. You can meet with them on an annual basis to ensure you are performing your breathing techniques effectively and learning ways to optimize them for better health.

Our Locations

Duke Health offers locations throughout the Triangle. Find one near you.

Mental Health Counseling

Living with a chronic disease can be stressful. In addition to screening for depression and anxiety, our licensed clinical social worker serves as mental health coordinator and can provide counseling and resources. You also have access to professional psychologists who work closely with our team and understand the demands and stresses of cystic fibrosis.

Legal and Advocacy Resources

As a person living with cystic fibrosis, you have rights regarding employment and insurance coverage. Duke social workers help you understand these rights and learn about grants and other resources to offset treatment costs. 

New Patient Appointment

A Team Approach to Your Cystic Fibrosis Treatment

Duke’s cystic fibrosis team can help you, whether you are currently receiving care elsewhere or are transitioning your care because of a move, because you are outgrowing pediatric care, or because your treatment has lapsed for some time. 

Individualized Treatment Regimen
A one-size-fits-all treatment is not effective for people with cystic fibrosis, so we tailor treatment to each person we see. At Duke, you'll be cared for by a pulmonologist and therapists trained in and passionate about cystic fibrosis. They will develop an effective, individualized treatment regimen that takes your life circumstances into account, aligns with your goals and values, and meets your health needs. Our intent is to support every person with cystic fibrosis in living the best life possible. 

Access to the Latest Cystic Fibrosis Therapies
Our involvement with cystic fibrosis clinical trials means you may have access to the latest cystic fibrosis therapies, including new antibiotics, drug-delivery systems, and CFTR modulators, which correct the genetic mutations that cause cystic fibrosis. As an accredited Cystic Fibrosis Center, we can look for mutations in your genes and determine if you qualify for one of these drugs, which can dramatically impact your cystic fibrosis symptoms and increase your life expectancy.

Seamless Transition from Pediatric to Adult Care
Our comprehensive program includes helping young adults begin taking responsibility for their own care. The transition from pediatric to adult specialists begins around the age of 16. It is a gradual process that takes place over years, and we work closely with our pediatric cystic fibrosis team colleagues to ensure that the transition is as seamless as possible. We provide support and guidance to help young adults manage home treatments, monitor symptoms, and learn when to seek help from their doctor.

Access to a Wide Array of Specialists
If complications such as diabetesosteoporosischronic sinusitisliver disease, or digestive problems arise, you’ll have access to a wide array of specialists at Duke, including endocrinologists, otolaryngologists (ear, nose, and throat specialists), and gastroenterologists. These specialists are familiar with the needs of adults with cystic fibrosis, and appointments can be conveniently coordinated around your cystic fibrosis clinic days.

Expert Pulmonologists in Lung Transplant
Lung transplant is a treatment of last resort but may become necessary if your lung function declines. Your pulmonologists are also key members of Duke’s lung transplant team. We have the expertise to help you understand and prepare for the transplant process if it is needed. In addition, our pulmonary rehabilitation centers in Raleigh and Durham can help you optimize your breathing and functional status, which may delay the need for a lung transplant, but can also increase the chances of you doing well should you need one.

Your Support Goes Beyond Medical Care
Changes in financial situations, employment, and insurance coverage can result in interruptions in your lifelong care that can be detrimental to your health. If your care has been interrupted, we can help you get back on track and provide support to help reduce the risk of care gaps in the future. 

Best Hospital for Pulmonology and Lung Surgery in NC

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 2023–2024.

This page was medically reviewed on 08/10/2020