Vibralung Acoustical Percussor

Posted by shs @shs, Jun 20 12:38pm

I am new to the group, but have appreciated the input from everyone on various issues. I have had MAC for about two years. My main symptom is always being extremely short of breath. Because of my weight ( very low) my local pulmonologist has felt I am not a candidate for normal antibiotic treatment. The only thing I have been doing is using 3% saline along with an albuterol inhaler, and a flutter valve. Nothing makes me cough. I am unable to cough up anything. I recently had a televisit with a doctor from the University of North Carolina pulmonary clinic. She recommended I change to 7% saline and work on airway clearance. She recommended I try a VibraLung which uses sound waves to hopefully dislodge the bacteria in my lungs. I also have a hole in my lung. So, I do not know if I am a candidate for this. The VibraLung is very expensive (about $4,000), which is not covered by Medicare or insurance. It is also nonreturnable. Has anyone used a VibraLung? What were your experiences?

Hi SHS, Are you otherwise eligible for Medicare coverage? Don

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I am not familiar with vibralung, but I do use a percussion vest. I was not able to cough up hardly anything either until my pulmonologist prescribed this vest. I use it along with my nebulizing treatments and now am able to clear my lungs better. I don't know with your condition if you are a candidate for this but it is very helpful. My Medicare covered the cost except for a low monthly fee I pay for 13 months and then it is considered mine. Good luck to you.

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@thumperguy

Hi SHS, Are you otherwise eligible for Medicare coverage? Don

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Yes, I am on Medicare. But, neither that nor my supplement insurance pay for it. It is considered experimental. They do cover the percussion vest. But, my doctor doesn’t think I could tolerate it.

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@gej53

I am not familiar with vibralung, but I do use a percussion vest. I was not able to cough up hardly anything either until my pulmonologist prescribed this vest. I use it along with my nebulizing treatments and now am able to clear my lungs better. I don't know with your condition if you are a candidate for this but it is very helpful. My Medicare covered the cost except for a low monthly fee I pay for 13 months and then it is considered mine. Good luck to you.

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Thank you for your response. I will check again with my pulmonologist about the vest. I am glad you are having good results with it!

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@shs Check to see if our insurance company has an appeal process. You may have to rent &try a vest first to prove it not suitable, then ask for reconsideration.
Sue

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Medicare paid Respirtech a little north of $14,000.00 for one of their inCourage units I don’t think they did it just due to my uncommonly good looks. ,.And as gej says After 13 months it was mine. Insofar as not “tolerating” it, the pulsating speed and pressure is adjustable; the “tolerance” issue seems to warrant further amplification to rule out it being bogus. I think the pulmo needs to advocate for you.? Don

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I was at NJH last week for my follow up and they're getting me the Afflovest. I requested it because you don't need to be tethered with a compressor. I'm sure they would have told if Medicare doesn't cover and I have Plan F Supplement. Does anyone use the Afflovest?

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I have been using the VibrALung for more than a year. I love it. I’m small, tried vests when I was in the hospital with an exacerbation. Shook my body too hard. As for expense, it was about $3,000, and many meds can cost that over a year or a month, but you own this. Should last a few years. Easy to use, easy to clean. Specialist in Bronch/MAC at UNC said it was as effective as vest.

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@cali2142

I was at NJH last week for my follow up and they're getting me the Afflovest. I requested it because you don't need to be tethered with a compressor. I'm sure they would have told if Medicare doesn't cover and I have Plan F Supplement. Does anyone use the Afflovest?

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I have had my Afflovest for over a year now, and really like it much better than the InCourage best I had before. Not tied to a heavy compressor, much easier to travel with, you can move around with it if you wish although I usually do nebulizer at the same time. Seems to do a better job on clearance too. Often I have to get on a slant pillow while using it to help with drainage. This is easier when you are free to move around. It does weigh about 10 lbs.

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@annfl

I have had my Afflovest for over a year now, and really like it much better than the InCourage best I had before. Not tied to a heavy compressor, much easier to travel with, you can move around with it if you wish although I usually do nebulizer at the same time. Seems to do a better job on clearance too. Often I have to get on a slant pillow while using it to help with drainage. This is easier when you are free to move around. It does weigh about 10 lbs.

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Ann, as you point out, the Afflovest does have advantages. Glad it’s working for you. Don

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How about using a gadget called an Aerobika? Some of us on here use that with success. I was prescribed one, but have yet to order it. https://www.aerobika-therapy.com/

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@windwalker

How about using a gadget called an Aerobika? Some of us on here use that with success. I was prescribed one, but have yet to order it. https://www.aerobika-therapy.com/

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An Aerobika is fine but does not do what a vest or VibraLung does. National Jewish gave me one years ago. I was only prescribe a vest or VibraLung last year. Maybe aAerobika is sufficient for less serious cases??.

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@windwalker

How about using a gadget called an Aerobika? Some of us on here use that with success. I was prescribed one, but have yet to order it. https://www.aerobika-therapy.com/

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Terri, I got an Aerobica a couple of months ago. My protocol for airway clearance is as follows – Early AM Aerobika for 10 minutes then shortly after I will nebulize with 7% saline followed by another 10 minutes of Aerobika. Later that AM I do postural drainage by lying flat on my back for 10 minutes or so then manual chest percussion (wife does back) followed by huff coughing then regular coughing. Works well for me to bring up sputum. I never have to cough the rest of the day. Later that evening I take my dose of Arikayce.

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@shs

Yes, I am on Medicare. But, neither that nor my supplement insurance pay for it. It is considered experimental. They do cover the percussion vest. But, my doctor doesn’t think I could tolerate it.

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I would certainly give it a try. It is so adjustable. I use Smart Vest and it can be very, almost soothing, or very vigorous. The therapist should be able to adjust it to where you are comfortable. Good luck !!

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Has anyone tried the Vibralung? Trying to see how it compares to the vest. Cost is $2800. not covered by medicare and most insurances.

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