What are COPD and emphysema?
COPD stands for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and you may be given this diagnosis if you have either chronic bronchitis, emphysema or both. COPD is very common. Chronic means the condition is long term. Bronchitis is inflammation of the airways, surgery does not help bronchitis. Emphysema is destruction of the tiny air sacs within the lung leading to over inflation. In certain situations surgery may help improve the symptoms of emphysema. An area of emphysema may progress to become a bulla – this is a large sac like a balloon within the lung. Surgery to remove a bulla may be very helpful if the person affected is strong enough to recover from an operation.