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General Information: (434) 654-7000 OR 1-800-633-6353
Martha Jefferson Hospital is the first in the area to offer a new procedure designed to help severe asthma sufferers improve their symptoms.
Bronchial thermoplasty is a procedure used in patients who are on multiple inhalers/pills and in whom symptoms are limiting everyday living, or who experience recurrent flare ups and visits to the emergency room. By gently heating the inside of some small bronchial tubes, they are prevented from constricting, which therefore improves air moving through the lung, more normally, reducing symptoms and flare-ups.
According to the AIR2 study of 297 participants, People who have had bronchial thermoplasty had:
An average of 3 fewer days lost at work, school or other daily activities, was also noted.
The procedure itself consists of 3 treatments, 3 weeks apart. Steroid pills will be used around the time of the treatment to reduce inflammation on the day of treatment. A very short breathing test will be done to ensure that it is okay to have the procedure done. Moderate sedation is used to ensure that you are comfortable while the fiberoptic tube is passed into the bronchial system. You do not feel when the plastic coated wire gently heats the inside of the bronchial tube. The procedure takes approximately 40-60 minutes and sometime afterwards to help you wake up and make sure, that you're able to swallow properly and breathe well. Again, a short breathing test will be done afterwards. As with any procedure under sedation, you will need a driver to take you home.
There are some possible side effects that may happen in the short term that includes more than one symptom of asthma, wheezing, chest pain, shortness of breath, infection of the upper airways or headaches. It is rare to be hospitalized temporarily after the procedure. In the long term, 6 weeks after the last treatment until one year later there are no more side effects than if the procedure had been done without applying the heat to the airway.
To be considered for bronchial thermoplasty treatment, you should:
This treatment is not currently for people under the age of 18 years old. In addition, people with an implant with electronics, who are pregnant or breastfeeding or have had this treatment before will not qualify for the treatment. If you have an active respiratory infection or a recent asthma attack or your oral corticosteroid dose has been changed in the last 2 weeks, it is also unsafe to do the procedure.
If you have any questions, please contact Martha Jefferson Medical and Surgical Associates 654-5260.