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Lake Regional Lung Patients Receive Minimally Invasive Zephyr Valves

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Lake Regional Pulmonology patients are receiving a clinically proven breakthrough technology that improves lung function and quality of life without the need for major surgery.

The Zephyr® Valve helps people with severe COPD or emphysema breathe more easily. Lake Regional Pulmonologist Joe Sohal, M.D., FCCP, places the valves during a minimally invasive procedure that does not require cutting or an incision.

“We place the valves in an area of the lung where air has become trapped,” Dr. Sohal said. “The one-way valves allow the trapped air to escape while preventing more air from entering that part of the lung. Many patients breathe more easily immediately, with continued improvement as the healthy area of the lung expands and lung function increases.”

Who Is Eligible

General criteria for Zephyr Valve placement include having a confirmed diagnosis of COPD or emphysema; feeling breathless even with taking your medication as directed; and having reduced lung function. Patients should not be active smokers.

“Not everyone who has severe COPD or emphysema will benefit from receiving this treatment,” Dr. Sohal said. “We will complete tests to determine whether it is right for you.”

What to Expect

The procedure takes place at Lake Regional Hospital. Patients receive anesthesia to make them sleepy. Dr. Sohal then inserts a small tube with a camera, called a bronchoscope, into the lungs. Before placing the valves, Dr. Sohal further evaluates the patient’s lungs to ensure the valves will work for them. If so, he may place multiple Zephyr Valves in the airways. Patients stay in the hospital for a minimum of four nights for monitoring.

“I prescribe pulmonary rehabilitation to most patients to help them gain as much lung function as possible,” Dr. Sohal said. “Patients also continue to use prescription medications to help their breathing.”


Currently, Dr. Sohal is the only physician in mid-Missouri outside of the VA system to provide Zephyr Valves. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Sohal at Lake Regional Pulmonology, call 573.302.3199.