Hackensack University Medical Center Now Offering New, Minimally Invasive Zephyr Endobronchial Valve Treatment for Patients with Severe Emphysema

HACKENSACK, NJ – Hackensack Meridian Hackensack University Medical Center is now offering Zephyr® Endobronchial Valves, a new, minimally invasive treatment for patients with severe emphysema, a form of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). 

The valve — which was the first endobronchial valve to receive FDA approval in 2018 for patients with heterogenous and homogenous emphysema — helps patients breathe more easily by releasing the trapped air in the diseased part of the lung, so the healthy parts can function better. 

“Zephyr Endobronchial Valves are a new alternative to invasive lung surgeries and procedures for patients with severe emphysema,” said Nadeem Y. Ali, M.D., pulmonologist with Hackensack University Medical Center.  “Before Zephyr, patients who could not tolerate an invasive procedure and were no longer responding to medications had no other options to relieve symptoms and improve their quality of life.”

Hackensack University Medical Center is at the forefront of medical care, featuring the most innovative options available to patients. Developing a program to improve the life of patients with COPD, with treatments like the Zephyr Endobronchial Valve, has been a main goal of the organization.

Zephyr Endobronchial Valves are placed while the patient is under conscious sedation or anesthesia as you can see here in this video. Using a thin tube called a bronchoscope that is inserted through the nose or mouth and into the lungs, a pulmonologist, who specializes in interventional procedures and has been trained by PulmonX, the maker of Zephyr, places multiple valves in multiple airways leading to the diseased lobe of the lung. The valves block air from entering the diseased lobe of the lung while allowing trapped air to escape. After the trapped air escapes, the lung volume of the blocked lobe is reduced, and the remaining lobes can expand more fully. After the procedure, there is a required three-night stay in the hospital to monitor any possible side effects or complications. 

“Within 45 days of their Zephyr procedure, patients may experience reduced pressure on the diaphragm, as well as improved lung function and breathing mechanics,” said Dr. Ali. “That means patients are often able to return to activities that were previously limited. They can walk for longer distances, experience less shortness of breath, have more energy, and can go about daily tasks with increased confidence.”

The Zephyr Valve treatment is included in severe COPD and emphysema treatment recommendations issued by leading health organizations worldwide, including the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellent (NICE) and the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) which gives endobronchial valves a level ‘A’ evidence rating, the highest rating possible.



Hackensack University Medical Center, an 803-bed nonprofit teaching and research hospital, was Bergen County’s first hospital founded in 1888. It was also the first hospital in New Jersey and second in the nation to become a Magnet®-recognized hospital for nursing excellence, receiving its sixth consecutive designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. The academic flagship of the Hackensack Meridian Health network, Hackensack University Medical Center is Nationally Ranked by U.S. News & World Report 2022-2023 in four specialties, more than any other hospital in New Jersey. The hospital is home to the state’s only nationally ranked Urology and Neurology & Neurosurgery programs, as well as the best Cardiology & Heart Surgery program. It also offers patients nationally ranked Orthopedic care and one of the state’s premier Cancer Centers (John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center). Hackensack University Medical Center also ranked as High-Performing in conditions such as Acute Kidney Failure, Heart Attack (AMI), Heart Failure, Pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Diabetes and Stroke. As well as High Performing in procedures like Aortic Valve Surgery, Heart Bypass Surgery (CABG), Colon Cancer Surgery, Lung Cancer Surgery, Prostate Cancer Surgery, Hip Replacement and Knee Replacement. Named to  Newsweek’s World’s Best Hospitals 2023 list, Hackensack University Medical Center is also the recipient of the 2023 Patient Safety Excellence Award™ by Healthgrades as well as an “A” Hospital Safety Grade from The Leapfrog Group. This award-winning care is provided on a campus that is home to facilities such as the Heart & Vascular Hospital; and the Sarkis and Siran Gabrellian Women’s and Children’s Pavilion, which houses the Donna A. Sanzari Women’s Hospital and the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital, ranked #1 in the state and top 20 in the Mid-Atlantic Region in the U.S. News & World Report’s 2022-23 Best Children’s Hospital Report. Additionally, the children’s nephrology program ranks in the top 50 in the United States. Hackensack University Medical Center is also home to the Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center and is listed on the Green Guide’s list of Top 10 Green Hospitals in the U.S. Our comprehensive clinical research portfolio includes studies focused on precision medicine, translational medicine, immunotherapy, cell therapy, and vaccine development. The hospital has embarked on the largest healthcare expansion project ever approved by the state: Construction of the Helena Theurer Pavilion, a 530,000-sq.-ft., nine-story building, which began in 2019. A $714.2 million endeavor, the pavilion is one the largest healthcare capital projects in New Jersey and will house 24 state-of-the-art operating rooms with intraoperative MRI capability, 50 ICU beds, and 175 medical/surgical beds including a 50 room Musculoskeletal Institute. 

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