Asthma – a chronic inflammatory condition of the airways – can cause frightening symptoms such as breathlessness, coughing, and wheezing. As your airways become inflamed repeatedly over time, your smooth muscle gets thicker in your airway, blocking some of it and making breathing more difficult.
Sometimes asthma responds well to medication such as inhaled corticosteroids, which can help reduce inflammation. However, some patients with asthma find that medication doesn’t offer adequate control over their symptoms. In those cases, a procedure known as Bronchial Thermoplasty may be able to help.
In this blog, NYC pulmonologist Dr. Marc Bowen of MXBowen PPC, Health & Breathing Center explains what you need to know about Bronchial Thermoplasty.
What is Bronchial Thermoplasty?
This FDA-approved procedure allows your doctor to slightly heat your airway walls to reduce some of the extra smooth muscle that’s present. As a result, it can allow your airways to stay more open if you have asthma, so you may be able to breathe better.
What is it used for?
The procedure is used for some patients who have severe asthma that doesn’t respond well to other forms of treatment. If other therapies aren’t doing a good job of controlling your asthma, you should talk to your doctor about the possibility of Bronchial Thermoplasty.
What is involved?
If you and your doctor decide that Bronchial Thermoplasty is right for you, you’ll have a total of three sessions, with three weeks in between each one.
You’ll be given medication to make you sleepy, and your doctor will guide a small tube through your mouth and into your airways. A smaller tube, which has wires on its end to treat your airways, is inserted into the first tube. The wires will be heated in order to reduce some of your smooth airway muscle tissue.
About three weeks after your first treatment, you’ll go back for a second one so more of your airways will be treated.
What are its advantages?
This procedure provides patients with the following advantages:
- Each session treats a different part of your lung to make the procedure safe
- No incision needed
- Significant improvement in quality of life as related to asthma attacks
- Fewer severe asthma attacks
- Fewer emergency room visits
- Fewer days missed from school or work
- Less reliance on medication
- Long-lasting (up to 5 years)
If you have asthma that isn’t well controlled, make an appointment for an evaluation today with MX Bowen, Physician P.C., Health & Breathing Center. We’ll determine whether Bronchial Thermoplasty can help with your asthma symptoms and will thoroughly explain the procedure and answer any questions you may have.