Fact Sheet

Emphysema – The Statistics

Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are captured under the umbrella of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). The Word Health Organization has stated that the incidence of COPD is on the rise, on pace to becoming the third leading cause of death by 20301. In the United States, where nearly 5 million people are diagnosed with emphysema, it already holds this position, with one person dying every 4 minutes2, 3, 4. Debilitating and costly, nearly $50 billion was spent on the direct and indirect costs associated with COPD in the U.S. in 20104.

Hyperinflation – The Result of Emphysema

Healthy lungs are elastic and sponge-like, expanding and contracting with each breath. Emphysema permanently damages the tiny air sacs, or alveoli, in the lungs, making them less elastic and causing a condition called hyperinflation. Hyperinflation makes breathing a constant challenge:

Therefore, reducing hyperinflation can have a significant impact on the patient’s lung function and their ability to breathe more normally.

Treatments for Emphysema

There is no cure for emphysema. Current treatment protocols rely on medical management to help provide relief of symptoms, but do not treat the disease itself. Smoking cessation is essential.

Surgical treatments, including lung volume reduction surgery and lung transplantation, may be an option for a select group of patients. These surgeries have been shown to improve lung function, but the risks and complications of surgery make them inappropriate for a large percentage of patients with emphysema.

Recently, minimally invasive approaches to lung volume reduction have become available. These use a bronchoscope – a small, flexible tube with a light and camera lens – to insert or implant valves, coils or chemicals into the lungs. Also included in this class of interventions is InterVapor®. But unlike other lung volume reduction procedures, InterVapor relies on the natural healing process within the body and not implants or foreign materials to result in lung volume reduction.

InterVapor – For Severe Emphysema

InterVapor is the first and only personalized endoscopic lung volume reduction procedure to use the energy of heated water vapor and the body’s own healing process to target hyperinflation. With InterVapor, the size and volume of the diseased lung is reduced, giving patients with severe emphysema clinically meaningful improvement in breathing function and quality of life. This is done without implants or chemicals being placed or left behind in the delicate lung tissue. InterVapor is not a cure for emphysema, but it is designed to directly reduce the hyperinflation of the lungs associated with emphysema and thereby increase the ability to breathe more fully.

The InterVapor System consists of three parts:

  1. InterVapor Personalized Procedure Program™ (IP3™) is the roadmap for the InterVapor procedure. Personalized for each patient using a detailed analysis of a high-resolution CT scan, the IP3 provides the physician with a recommended treatment plan.
  2. The InterVapor Generator creates and delivers the precise amount of heated vapor energy based on the IP3 treatment algorithm.
  3. The InterVapor Catheter delivers the heated water vapor to the targeted areas. The catheter includes an inflatable balloon to focus the vapor delivery to the treatment areas.

These three individual pieces come together in a highly efficient, highly effective procedure to bring about clinically meaningful improvements for people with severe emphysema.

Uptake Medical Contact Information


Corporate Headquarters:
1173 Warner Ave.
Tustin, CA 92780-6458
Phone: 949.379.8731
Fax: 714.258.8415
Seattle Office:
1617 8th Avenue North
Seattle, WA 98109
Phone: 206.734.3670
Fax: 206.859.4557

For More Information Contact:
Laura Jackson

Uptake Medical, InterVapor, InterVapor Personalized Procedure Program and IP3 are registered trademarks and trademarks of Uptake Medical.

1.) World Health Organization, “World Health Statistics, 2008” http://www.who.int/respiratory/copd/World_Health_Statistics_2008/en/index.html
2.) Centers for Disease Control “Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Includes: Chronic Bronchitis and Emphysema Fast Stats” http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/copd.htm
3.) Centers for Disease Control “Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Among Adults Aged 18 and Over in the United States, 1998-2009” http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_113774.html
4.) COPD Foundation “Statement from President John W. Walsh on FDA Pulmonary-Allergy Drugs Advisory Committee Meeting” http://www.copdfoundation.org/PressRoom/tabid/170/language/en-US/Default.aspx?News=132