Severe asthma can cause coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, mucus production and severe discomfort. People with chronic, persistent asthma often have difficulty simply cathcing their breath. For many, an asthma attack is like trying to breathe through a straw or having a plastic bag pulled over their heads.
Many deal with the condition by modifying their lives and staying away from enjoyable physical activities, such as sports, to avoid attacks. But now, bronchial thermoplasty offers asthma sufferers an exciting new option to help control their disease.
Introducing Bronchial Thermoplasty
Bronchial Thermoplasty (BT) is a safe, outpatient procedure that uses heat therapy to provide long-lasting relief from asthma symptoms. Asthma attacks are caused by swelling in airway muscles, narrowing the pathways into the lungs. BT uses mild heat to remove excess smooth muscle from airways, widening passages and reducing the risk of an attack.
The Right Choice
BT is not a medication, but rather a simple procedure to improve breathing for asthma patients. The treatment is designed for people whose asthma medications are no longer preventing attacks. BT does not replace medication, but rather complements it to provide added, long-lasting relief.
Delivered by the Alair System, BT therapy requires three sessions. Each procedure is performed three weeks apart by a specially-trained pulmonologist. Each treatment takes about an hour during which patients receive light sedation.
After BT therapy, many patients experience major improvements in their quality of life, including fewer visits to the doctor and improved stamina. Some BT patients require less medication. Others have even run marathons. One study showed that 79 percent of asthma patients reported dramatic improvements in their symptoms after receiving BT. Other research found that, after receiving BT therapy, patients experienced 32 percent fewer attacks; 84 percent fewer asthma-related emergency room visits; and 66 percent fewer days away from work, school and other activites.
Follow-up studies have confirmed these improvements are long-lasting.
Can Bronchial Thermoplasty Help You?
BT is designed for adult patients who have trouble controlling their asthma, even with inhaled corticosteroids or beta-agonist treatments. Faith Regional physicians can answer all of your questions about whether BT is the right choice to provide relief from your asthma symptoms.