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Apr 22, 2014 1:03 PM

New 'lung coil' treatment helps emphysema patients breathe

Doctors are developing a new way to treat emphysema.

The disease literally takes your breath away, making it difficult to do even the most basic activities.

This potential breakthrough could significantly reduce the severity of the illness.

Doctor Joseph Cicenia at the Cleveland Clinic is inserting Slinky-like coils into patients with emphysema to help them breathe.

Art Greiner started smoking at 9 years old. Although he eventually quit, the damage to his lungs was permanent.

The springs give elasticity to the lungs, allowing more efficient air flow, Dr. Cicenia says.

More study is clearly needed to see who the procedure is right for. Cicenia says the treatments are already showing promise in other patients. The coils stay in permaently and don't prevent other treatments like surgery or medications.

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