Andrew Millar - United Kingdom

Treatment details:

Age at treatment: 76

Hospital: Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge, UK

Date of procedure: Sep, 2019

Life Before Zephyr® Valves:

Before my emphysema diagnosis, I was very energetic. Work wise, I had a busy role hiring out construction equipment.

Outside of work, I had loads of hobbies. I enjoyed gardening and going for long walks. I loved sports, and would go to watch horse racing and football matches.

When I became unwell, my illness made it almost impossible to enjoy these things. Life with emphysema was tough, and to be honest it made me quite depressed.

I was first diagnosed with emphysema in 2014. My life was impacted massively. I could barely walk 100 yards. I couldn’t have a bath independently.

I ended up in hospital twice on two separate holidays. It was a frightening time. I simply couldn’t breathe. The second time, a nurse had to take me back home from Spain.

That’s when I knew I had to get proper treatment. I was referred to Dr. Ravi Mahadeva. He sent me to pulmonary rehab for six months, which helped, but I was still struggling to breathe.

So he started to explore other options. He said I could have a lung reduction or Zephyr Valve treatment. I said I’d prefer Zephyr Valve treatment as it’s a minimally invasive procedure, which felt less daunting at my age.

My doctor did some tests and confirmed I was eligible, and so I said “Yes, let’s go for it!”. I was determined to do whatever was needed to feel better.

Life With Zephyr Valves:

Dr. Jurgen Herre carried out my Zephyr Valve procedure at Addenbrookes Hospital in September 2019. I was 76.

It went very well. I was able to get up and walk around the next day. I felt the difference immediately. I could breathe so much more easily!

I was back home on day five and I felt like a new man. I was able to go and have a bath. I could walk up and down the stairs without thinking twice.

I’m able to do what I enjoy again. Life is so much better! I can do gardening, go for a walk — whatever I fancy. The only thing that’s tough is bending over to pick up something heavy. But if that’s my only restriction, that’s fine by me.

My partner and I are planning a holiday in August, which we’re really looking forward to. We’re going to Jersey which is just an hour flight. I checked in with my doctor and he said I should be fine to make the trip, but to take some oxygen just in case.

At my most unwell, the prospect of another holiday where I ended up in hospital was unbearable. So to be able to confidently plan one now, without that worry, feels great. I can’t wait!

What would I say to anyone with severe emphysema who is eligible for the Zephyr Valves?

Don’t hesitate! Just have it done.

What is the Zephyr Valve procedure?

The Zephyr Valve is intended for the treatment of patients with severe emphysema – a form of COPD. A physician uses a bronchoscope to place on average 4 tiny valves in the airways to block off the damaged areas of the lungs so air no longer gets trapped there. No cutting or incision is required and the procedure is usually completed in under an hour.

The valve placement allows the healthier parts of the lungs to expand and relieves the pressure on the diaphragm, which decreases shortness of breath and makes breathing easier. Patients report being able to take full breaths immediately after the procedure and within a few days are back to doing everyday tasks with more ease.


The results of case studies do not necessarily allow conclusions to be drawn in other cases. Results in other cases can be different. Possible complications associated with the endobronchial valve treatment include: Pneumothorax, deterioration of the COPD symptoms, pneumonia, dyspnea and in rare cases death. The Zephyr® Endobronchial Valve is an implantable bronchial valve intended to control airflow in order to improve lung functions in patients with hyperinflation associated with severe emphysema and/or to reduce air leaks. The Zephyr Valve is contraindicated for: Patients for whom bronchoscopic procedures are contraindicated; Evidence of active pulmonary infection; Patients with known allergies to Nitinol (nickel-titanium) or its constituent metals (nickel or titanium); Patients with known allergies to silicone; Patients who have not quit smoking. Use is restricted to a trained physician. Prior to use, please reference the Zephyr Endobronchial System Instructions for more information on indications, contraindications, warnings, all precautions, and adverse events.

OTH-EN-996-v1 Patient Story Andrew Millar