Freeman News

Groundbreaking Treatment Helps Emphysema Patients Breathe Easier

January 29, 2020

Freeman Lung Institute Sees Success with Spiration Valve System Implant

 Joplin, Mo -  “Immediately I could hear him,” says Joyce Hair. “He was muffling and didn’t have enough breath to talk loudly.” That changed right away after her husband David received an endobronchial valve implant from Freeman Pulmonologist Dr. Grant Pierson. David Hair is the first Freeman recipient of the Olympus Spiration® Valve System implant.

“This is a minimally invasive procedure using a bronchoscope,” says Dr. Pierson. “Spiration valves, which resemble parachutes, are placed in selected airways using a catheter through the bronchoscope. Once the valve is in the airway it expands and contracts with breathing. The valve allows trapped air and fluids to flow past it, but blocks air from entering the diseased part of the lung. That allows the damaged lung to shrink in size to allow the healthier lung to expand.”

The treatment is new and groundbreaking. “The use of endobronchial valves for treatment of severe emphysema was FDA approved in 2018,” says Dr. Pierson. “Prior to this procedure, treatment required invasive chest surgery with resection of part of the lung.”

“I don’t get exhausted as quickly as I used to,” says David Hair. “And the time of recovery to get my breath back is shortened.”  “I’ve seen definite improvement,” boasts wife Joyce.

“His demeanor has changed. He’s perky. He’s been doing more things around the house he hadn’t been doing before.”

Dr. Pierson is in the process of screening other patients to receive the Spiration valve implants. The end results are improved lung function, reduced shortness of breath and restored quality of life in patients suffering from severe emphysema. “Patients can walk farther and in some cases have reduced oxygen requirements,” says Dr. Pierson.

More information about the procedure is available at:


About Freeman Health System

Locally owned, not-for-profit and nationally recognized, Freeman Health System includes Freeman Hospital West, Freeman Hospital East, Freeman Neosho Hospital and Ozark Center – the area’s largest provider of behavioral health services – as well as two urgent care clinics, dozens of physician clinics and a variety of specialty services. In 2019, Freeman earned dozens of individual awards for medical excellence and patient safety from CareChex®, a quality rating system that helps consumers evaluate healthcare providers. U.S. News & World Report named Freeman Health System the Best Hospital in Southwest Missouri for 2019. With more than 300 physicians on staff representing more than 70 specialties, Freeman provides cancer care, heart care, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopaedics, children’s services and women’s services. Additionally, Freeman is the only Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in a 70-mile radius. For more information, visit