What is Bronchial Thermoplasty?
Bronchial thermoplasty is a new, technologically advanced procedure for severe persistent asthma in patients 18 years and older whose asthma is not well controlled with inhaled corticosteroids and long acting beta agonists.
How Does it Work?
The Alair® Bronchial Thermoplasty System delivers precisely controlled thermal energy to the airway wall, reducing excessive airway smooth muscle (ASM). By reducing airway smooth muscle, the frequency of asthma attacks decreases due to the inability of the airways to constrict.
How is the Procedure Performed?
Once the patient is placed under moderate sedation, the physician places a standard flexible bronchoscope with the Alair® Catheter into the bronchial tree through either the nose or the mouth. The physician then navigates the bronchoscope to the target treatment sites. The Alair® Catheter is then positioned so that the electrode array contacts the airway wall, delivering energy to the airway wall for a maximum of 10 seconds per activation. The physician repeats this process in all of the accessible airways planned for each bronchoscopy session.
What are the Key Benefits?
Adults with severe asthma treated with bronchial thermoplasty had improved asthma-related quality of life, including reduction in:
- Asthma attacks
- Emergency room visits for respiratory symptoms
- Days lost from work, school, or other daily activities due to asthma symptoms
- Hospitalizations for respiratory symptoms
What are the Risks and Side Effects of Bronchial Thermoplasty?
The most common side effect is a worsening of asthma symptoms, which, in some cases, leading to hospitalization. In order to decrease the chance of an asthma exacerbation, patients typically take a 3-day short course of prednisone beginning the day prior to the procedure for 3 days.
Talk with your physician about your particular risk factors.
Why Alta Bates Summit Medical Center?
Andrew Greenberg, M.D. at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center is the only provider of this treatment in the East Bay. Dr. Greenberg has extensive experience in treating patients with severe asthma.