Deep Inspiration Breath-Hold (DIBH)

Deep inspiration breath-hold (DIBH) is an effective method of limiting radiation dose to the heart and lungs. It is particularly useful for treating patients with left-sided breast cancer, as well as those with certain thoracic and abdominal cancers. DIBH eliminates movement caused by breathing when treating tumours with a conventional radiotherapy technique.

The breath-hold equipment used at the Galway Clinic allows patients to be in control of their breathing at all times. If for any reason a patient has to cough or can’t hold their breath, they are able to breathe freely and the delivery of radiotherapy is stopped. Treatment is only resumed when the patient feels they are ready to do so.

Following a consultation with your Doctor, an appointment will be made to come to the department where our team of Radiation Therapists will assess your suitability for this technique. If DIBH is not suitable for you we can proceed to a standard free breathing technique at that same visit. During DIBH, the patient uses a mouth-piece, rather like a snorkel and a screen displays their breathing cycle and shows them when they need to inhale and when to hold their breath.

At all times, the patient is in control and the treatment delivery is broken into segments usually lasting 20 to 30 seconds as necessary.