• By Laurel Kelly

In the Loop: New hope for patients with COPD

May 7, 2019
an illustration of lungs and trachea

Wayne Peterson came to Mayo knowing it may be his last chance to find relief from COPD. What he didn't know was that he'd be the first in Minnesota to undergo a new, life changing lung procedure.


Wayne Peterson hadn't been able to breathe easily for years, and time was running out. In 2003, he was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), report ABC 6 NewsKIMT 3 News and the Rochester Post-Bulletin. He tells the new outlets he was eventually put on oxygen and says he was given little hope by doctors in Texas, where he was living at the time, before coming to Mayo Clinic's Rochester campus. "They wanted to send me to hospice because they said they couldn't do any more," he tells ABC 6 News. "I came up here because I'm from here originally. I knew about Mayo Clinic. I thought if anyone can do anything, it's Mayo."

His instincts and his timing, ABC 6 News reports, were "perfect." The summer before his arrival, the Food and Drug Administration had given its seal of approval to the tiny valve used in a new procedure called endoscopic lung volume reduction. Mayo Clinic's Rochester campus is the first in its region to offer the treatment to patients with debilitating lung conditions tied to COPD, including emphysema. Last month Wayne — who tells KIMT he "wasn't a candidate for a lung volume reduction and I wasn't a candidate for transplant" — was the first patient to undergo the procedure in Minnesota.

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This story originally appeared on the In the Loop blog.

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