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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Program

At the Yale Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) program, our highly trained and skilled specialists provide comprehensive and multidisciplinary treatment to patients with COPD, an inflammatory lung disease that obstructs airflow from the lungs, making it increasingly difficult to breathe.

We care for individuals:

  • With emphysema
  • With chronic bronchitis
  • With COPD with associated bronchiectasis
  • With asthma/COPD overlap
  • With COPD/obstructive sleep apnea overlap
  • With combined emphysema and pulmonary fibrosis (in conjunction with our interstitial lung disease team)
  • Who experience frequent disease exacerbations and/or hospitalizations
  • Under consideration for surgical therapies for emphysema (such as bullectomy, lung volume reduction surgery, and lung transplantation)
  • Who need a pre-operative respiratory assessment for other forms of surgery
  • With a suspected genetic basis for their disease (such as alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency)
  • With chronic respiratory failure related to COPD

Patients suffering from COPD may experience flare-ups that require hospitalization, leaving them feeling weaker. Our physicians tailor treatment plans to help them manage their COPD so that they can live life to the fullest. Our physicians are also exploring therapies and medications that can help patients in the future.

Whether patients have mild symptoms, need rehabilitation, or assisted ventilation, we can help. We also offer lung volume reduction surgery or lung transplantation to eligible patients.

Our Approach

The Yale COPD program is staffed by two pulmonologists, a pulmonary specialist nurse practitioner, nurses, and respiratory therapists with special expertise in COPD. We arrange visits for patients with other specialist providers as needed, including cardiologists, thoracic surgeons, thoracic oncologists, palliative care specialists, otolaryngologists, allergists/immunologists, sleep medicine specialists, and health psychologists.

The Yale COPD Program receives referrals for patients with difficult-to-control symptoms and/or frequent acute disease exacerbations, those who do not respond well to routine medical therapies, those with co-occurring complex medical conditions or overlap syndromes (as detailed above), those who may require surgical therapies, and those who have advanced disease with chronic respiratory failure. 

Providers in the COPD Program perform comprehensive evaluations and develop individualized care plans for all patients, with the goal of partnering closely with each patient’s primary care and other specialist providers. In addition, opportunities to participate in clinical research trials of new therapies in COPD are often available through our collaboration with the Yale Center for Asthma and Airways Disease (203-500-3808).