If you live in the New York, NY area and deal with asthma, you may be curious about the solutions available to help reduce the severity of asthma attacks. Dr. Marc Bowen may recommend treatments such as bronchial thermoplasty.
What is bronchial thermoplasty?
Bronchial thermoplasty is best described as a minimally invasive procedure that uses heat to reduce the amount of smooth muscle in the walls of the bronchial tubes. This procedure can help to relieve symptoms of asthma, such as shortness of breath and wheezing.
Bronchial thermoplasty involves passing a thin, flexible tube (catheter) through the nose or mouth and down into the bronchial tubes. The tube is then used to deliver radiofrequency energy to the smooth muscle in the walls of the bronchial tubes. The heat from the radiofrequency energy damages the muscle, which reduces its ability to contract. This helps to improve airflow and reduce symptoms of asthma.
What can I expect after bronchial thermoplasty?
After the procedure at our practice, you may experience some side effects, such as a sore throat, coughing, and fatigue. These side effects are typically rather mild and resolve within a few days. Bronchial thermoplasty is usually performed as an outpatient procedure, which means you can go home the same day. The procedure is carried out under general anesthesia, which means you will be asleep during the procedure.
It usually takes three separate bronchial thermoplasty treatments, given three to eight weeks apart, to achieve the best results. Most people may experience a significant improvement in their asthma symptoms after the first treatment.
What are the risks of bronchial thermoplasty?
Bronchial thermoplasty is generally a safe procedure with a low risk of complications. However, as with any medical procedure, there are some risks associated with bronchial thermoplasty. These include:
- Sore throat
- Bleeding from the bronchial tubes
- Bronchospasm (wheezing and shortness of breath) immediately after the procedure
These side effects are usually mild and resolve within a few days. Serious complications are rare. However, as with any medical procedure, there is a small risk of complications occurring. Your doctor will discuss the risks with you before the procedure.
Bronchial thermoplasty is not suitable for everyone. By visiting a doctor who specializes in these types of procedures, you can take time to determine if you are a good candidate. At the practice of Dr. Marc Bowen, a pulmonologist, patients can undergo an evaluation to decide if bronchial thermoplasty can improve one’s quality of life. Call 212-480-4062 to request an appointment at either of his two office locations in New York, NY.