Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Respiratory Institute

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Program

  • Overview
  • Diagnosis & Treatment
  • Meet Our Team

Diagnosis & Treatment

Diagnosis of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

A caregiver will assess the patient’s symptoms and perform various breathing tests in order to diagnose COPD, such as:

  • Pulmonary function tests: A range of tests that measure how well the patient is able to breathe in and out, and how efficiently the lungs provide oxygen to the blood.
  • CT scan or x-ray: These tests provide detailed images of the lungs and inside of the chest, and are particularly helpful in ruling out other conditions with similar symptoms.

Treatment of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

There is no cure for COPD, but symptoms can be managed and the progression of the disease can be delayed.

Avoiding exposure to the cause of the patient’s lung damage will help prevent COPD from worsening. Smoking is the most common cause of COPD, and quitting smoking is the most important step patients with COPD can take. Continuing to smoke will cause further damage to the lungs, and will reduce the effectiveness of other treatments.

In addition, physicians will suggest one or more forms of treatment to help manage the symptoms of COPD, such as:

  • Pulmonary rehabilitation: This includes prescription medications and lifestyle changes.
  • Prescription medications: Oral tablets that can help reduce the symptoms of COPD.
  • Lifestyle changes: These include exercise programs, which counter the effects of reduced airflow by improving other aspects of physical fitness, and learning controlled breathing techniques.
  • Inhalers: Also known as bronchodilators, these are usually prescribed to help open up the airways.
  • Nebulizers: Nebulizers deliver vaporized medication, used to treat advanced COPD.
  • Oxygen therapy: Provides supplemental oxygen to the lungs as a way of temporarily making breathing easier during sleep or exercise.
  • Non-invasive ventilation: Breathing support with the use of a noninvasive mask.

For end-stage COPD, physicians may recommend lung volume reduction procedures, both surgical and non-surgical. Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi is one of only a few centers worldwide to offer innovative bronchoscopic lung volume reduction techniques, including endobronchial valves.


For patients with very severe lung disorders, the program also offers evaluation for a possible lung transplant, in collaboration with Cleveland Clinic in the United States and Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s Lung Transplant Program service.

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Meet Our Team

The combined skills and expertise of this multidisciplinary team provide the highest quality and most comprehensive care for COPD, from early to advanced stages of the disease. The team includes:

  • Pulmonologists
  • Thoracic surgeons
  • Radiologists
  • Pathologists
  • Respiratory therapists.
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