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Minimally Invasive Asthma Treatment

When medicines can’t relieve the symptoms of severe asthma, bronchial thermoplasty can offer a nonsurgical option to help you breathe easier.

Asthma is caused by swelling of muscle tissue around the airways, which causes them to narrow and makes it difficult to breathe. Bronchial thermoplasty uses heat to reduce the smooth muscle of breathing tubes, which opens up airways and reduces the frequency and severity of asthma attacks.

How Bronchial Thermoplasty Is Performed

Bronchial thermoplasty, performed by a pulmonologist, requires three separate outpatient procedures scheduled three weeks apart. Each procedure focuses on a different section of the lungs.

To perform the procedure, your pulmonologist inserts a bronchoscope – a thin, lighted tube that allows your provider to see inside your airways – through your mouth or nose. You’re given medicine to help relax you and make you feel comfortable.

Next, your pulmonologist guides a small, flexible tube (catheter) through the bronchoscope and uses it to heat excess areas of smooth muscle around your airways, which destroys the tissue that causes narrowing of your airways.

The procedure itself takes about an hour, but you’ll remain in the hospital for a few hours while you recover. You can usually resume regular activities two or three days afterward.

Benefits of Bronchial Thermoplasty

This advanced approach can help improve breathing and give you a better quality of life. Bronchial thermoplasty clinical trial results showed the approach reduced:

  • Asthma attacks by 32 percent
  • Emergency room visits due to breathing problems by 84 percent
  • Days lost from work, school, or other daily activities due to asthma symptoms by 66 percent
  • Hospitalizations for respiratory symptoms by 73 percent

Is Bronchial Thermoplasty Right for You?

Bronchial thermoplasty may be right for you if you have severe or persistent asthma that’s not well-controlled by inhaled corticosteroids or long-acting bronchodilator medicines, and:

  • You’re between 18 and 65 years old.
  • You’re a nonsmoker, or you quit smoking at least a year ago.

To learn more about bronchial thermoplasty and whether it’s right for you, call us at (406) 731-8353.