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Home > Medical Services > Lung & Respiratory Care > Lung Tests & Treatments > Bronchial Thermoplasty for Asthma
A new treatment option for severe asthma sufferers is available at Mercy Pulmonology Clinic. Bronchial thermoplasty (BT) is a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure that uses thermal energy to reduce the frequency and severity of asthma attacks, making it easier for patients to breathe and improve their quality of life.
To determine if you are a candidate for bronchial thermoplasty, please contact the Mercy Pulmonology Clinic at (319) 221-8788 to schedule a consultation.
Bronchial Thermoplasty (BT) is a safe outpatient bronchoscopy procedure that uses mild heat to reduce excessive smooth muscle in the airways, which helps reduce severe asthma attacks.
Asthma is chronic inflammation of the airways with episodic narrowing. Symptoms include coughing, wheezing, and chest tightness, which often come on suddenly in the form of an asthma attack. Persistent inflammation can eventually cause the airway smooth muscle to thicken, which restricts air flow and makes breathing difficult. Bronchial thermoplasty is the first asthma treatment aimed at reducing the muscle thickness and mass, making room for easier airflow.
In a double-blind, randomized, sham-controlled clinical study of bronchial thermoplasty, adults with severe asthma that were treated with bronchial thermoplasty had improved asthma-related quality of life out to a year compared to the control (sham-treated) patients. Additionally, when compared to control patients, patients treated with bronchial thermoplasty also experienced the following significant benefits:
These benefits were observed during clinical studies where patients continued to take their standard maintenance asthma medications which included combinations of inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting bronchodilators.
People with severe asthma have an excess of smooth muscle tissue lining their airways. During an asthma attack, this muscle constricts the airways, making breathing difficult. BT reduces the amount of excess muscle and helps minimize the narrowing of your airways during an asthma attack.
In a clinical trial, almost 79% of patients treated with BT reported significant improvements in their asthma-related quality of life—including a reduction in asthma attacks, ER visits and hospitalizations for respiratory symptoms, and fewer days lost from work, school, and other daily activities due to asthma. As with any procedure, there are risks, and individual results may vary. The most common side effect of BT is temporary worsening of respiratory-related symptoms (within 1 to 7 days). There is a small risk (3.4%) of these symptoms requiring hospitalization.
BT delivered by the Alair™ System is approved by the FDA for the treatment of severe asthma in patients 18 years and older whose asthma is not well controlled with inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting beta-agonists such as Advair™, Symbicort™, and Dulera™. Further evaluation with your physician or a physician trained in BT will help determine whether you are a candidate who may benefit from this procedure.
BT does not replace your current daily maintenance medication, but instead works with it to provide long-term stability in your asthma symptoms and lessen severe asthma attacks requiring oral steroids (prednisone). BT provides long-term stability in your asthma symptoms, improves your quality of life and lessens asthma attacks.
Coverage policies and payment vary by payer. Your BT physician/ staff will work with you to request coverage of your BT procedure.
To learn more about BT, visit www.BTforAsthma.com.