November 2022 • Volume 16, No. 11

From the Editor

November is, among other things, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) awareness month. Marked by coughing, wheezing and difficulty breathing, COPD is the third leading cause of death worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.

Although most of the treatments for COPD involve lifestyle changes (such as support to stop smoking) or nonsurgical approaches (such as inhalers), some cases call for surgery. That’s what brings it into focus for our Surgical eNews. In this issue, we’ll take a look at COPD, its related surgeries, and current news in the field.

This month we spotlight a staff member: Celeste Yang, Admissions Administrative Assistant, who works in NIFA’s office in Centennial, Colorado.

And scroll down for jobs we’ve collected for you as well as NIFA’s favorite links.


Julie Lancaster, Editor

Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

Learn About COPD

The World Health Organization’s COPD Fact Sheet presents an overview of key facts, impacts and causes of COPD on a worldwide level. Read more . . .

The Mayo Clinic offers more detailed information on symptoms, causes, diagnosis and treatment of COPD. Read more . . .

If you have time to listen while commuting or working in the kitchen, a podcast can be a good way to learn. This month Consultant 360, a medical information network, released a 30-minute podcast called Critical Observations in Pulmonary Medicine. Featuring two pulmonary physicians, the conversation ranges from basics about COPD, chronic bronchitis and emphysema, to asthma and pulmonary fibrosis, including an overview of some recent scientific studies. Listen . . .


Researchers at Boston Medical Center and Boston University School of Medicine have used CRISPR, a technology that can be used to edit genes, to better understand the functions of the genes that contribute to the development of emphysema and COPD. Read more . . .

A large retrospective study led by researchers at the Institute for Breathing and Sleep, in Australia, assessed the link between postoperative pulmonary complications (PPCs) and patients’ history of current or past smoking.
Read more . . .

A randomized trial in Barcelona showed that emphysema patients treated with bronchoscopic lung volume reduction (BLVR) with valve placement, a less-invasive option, had similar levels of improvement to those treated with lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS). Read more . . .

Photo by Robina Weermeijer on Unsplash

COPD Surgery Videos

The following videos demonstrate two primary types of lung surgery used in treating COPD:

  • Bullectomy, the removal of one or more bullae, large air sacs formed from destroyed alveoli, and
  • Lung Volume Reduction Surgery (LVRS), removal of some of the most diseased lung tissue so that the remaining healthier portion can perform better.

Right VATS Bullectomy for Right Apical Lobe Giant Bullae
This surgery was done on a 60-year-old woman with hypertension, a history of lung infections and acute shortness of breath.

Watch video . . .


Subxiphoid Uniportal Lung Volume Reduction Surgery
A 50-year-old woman with severe emphysema due to smoking underwent lung volume reduction surgery of her right upper lobe. From the Cardiothoracic Surgery Network.

Watch video . . .


Robot-Assisted LVRS With Intraoperative Firefly Perfusion Assessment
Demonstration of a robot-assisted lung volume reduction surgery, with target identification using an intraoperative perfusion assessment. From the Cardiothoracic Surgery Network.

Watch video . . .

Student Spotlight: Celeste Yang

City & State
Centennial, Colorado

Current Position
NIFA Admissions Administrative Assistant

Where did you grow up and what is your educational background?
I am a native Coloradan; I grew up in Aurora and Centennial, Colo. I have a BS in psychology from the University of Colorado-Denver.

What is your previous work experience?
I was in school until coming to work here.

How long have you been in your current position and what do you do in your job?
I have worked here since February 2021. As soon as a student enrolls, my job is to send them the information needed to get into the program. When we finalize their participation, I communicate with them by text or email.

What is rewarding about your job?
Nurses are so much needed in health care today, and our goal is to train nurses. It is really rewarding to help them with their careers, and students really appreciate us and often thank us for all we do.

What do you enjoy doing when you aren’t working?
I like hiking and outdoor activities. My goal is to go hiking more. I also have a little Yorkie named Domo and I love spending time with him.

What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
I speak Cantonese. My parents immigrated from China as young adults.

Jobs Front

Click here for the RNFA job postings we’ve collected for you this month.

NIFA – Office Hours

Monday-Thursday, 8:00am – 5:00pm
Friday, 8:00am – 4:00pm

Practice Resources

Here are several of the most-in-demand sites for our students, prospective students and grads:

MD Edge Surgery News: Specialty News and Commentaries, Videos and More
RNFA Scope of Practice by State (PDF)
ACS List of Cases that Require an Assistant at Surgery, 2020 (PDF)
Perioperative Nurse Links (state nursing boards & professional associations)
APRN Nurse Links

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this newsletter are strictly those of their respective authors and do not necessarily represent the views of NIFA. NIFA does not give any express or implied warranty as to the accuracy of statements made by our contributors and does not accept any liability for error or omission. It is the responsibility of all perioperative personnel to work within and adhere to their facility bylaws and individual scope of practice.

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Our mailing address is:

12354 E Caley Avenue
Centennial, CO 80111