Spiration Valve System Intended Use

The Spiration Valve System is intended to control prolonged air leaks (see definition below) of the lung, or significant air leaks that are likely to become prolonged air leaks, following:

  • surgery to remove a lobe of the lung (a lobectomy),
  • surgery to remove a segment, or small portion, of the lung (a segmentectomy) or
  • a major surgery in which multiple portions of the lung are removed (Lung Volume Reduction Surgery or LVRS).

If you still have an air leak 7 days after your surgery, you have a prolonged air leak, unless the leak is there only when you:

  • forcefully blow out air (forced exhale — this is done to see if you have an air leak) or
  • cough.

You can be considered for a Spiration Valve placement if you have an air leak 5 days after surgery and if the air leak is:

  • continuous,
  • present when you breath in normally (not forced), or
  • present when you breath out normally (not forced) and you have either trapped air under the skin (subcutaneous emphysema) or difficulty breathing (respiratory compromise).

Use of the Spiration Valve System is limited to 6 weeks for each prolonged air leak.

What is a prolonged air leak?

In surgeries where part of the lung has been removed, air leaks are common problems. Air leaks are caused because the lung tissue does not always close completely after surgery. Air that continues to leak from the lung(s) can build up in the patient’s chest and can make breathing difficult. Air leaks are usually treated with a temporary tube inserted into the chest cavity (chest tube) that removes the air from between the lung and the ribcage (see Figure 6 a and b). In most cases air leaks will close after a few days. However, some patients will have a leak that does not close. These are referred to as “prolonged” air leaks. If you have more questions about air leaks please discuss them with your doctor.

Figure 6 a and b. Chest tube inserted to remove air between lung and ribcage due to lung air leak.


When the Spiration Valve System Should Not Be Used (Contraindications)

Your doctor will not place a Spiration Valve in your lungs if you are unable to have a narrow, flexible tube (bronchoscope) placed through your nose or mouth and into your lungs.