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Bronchial Thermoplasty Treats Asthma

People who suffer from severe asthma symptoms that significantly impact their quality of life may benefit from bronchial thermoplasty (BT) treatment at Saint Francis Medical Center.

BT is a minimally invasive procedure that has been clinically proven to reduce asthma exacerbations. “Most people with asthma are able to control their symptoms through daily medications,” says W. Keith Graham, MD, D-ABSM, pulmonologist, Saint Francis Medical Partner. “But sometimes, daily medications are not enough to relieve symptoms. Adults who are taking maximum recommended doses of asthma medications may want to try BT.”

Pulmonologists perform BT by inserting a bronchoscope, a thin, flexible, tube-shaped instrument, through the nose or mouth. The bronchoscope delivers radio frequency energy to the airway walls, reducing the amount of excess smooth muscle in the walls. This decreases the total air constriction during an asthma attack.

BT is performed on an outpatient basis and occurs over three different procedures, usually scheduled three weeks apart from each other.

W. Keith Graham, MD, D-ABSM
W. Keith Graham, MD, D-ABSM

“It is important to note that BT is not a cure for asthma,” says Graham. “It’s simply an additional therapy that can help make you more comfortable. Once you are finished with the three sessions, you will continue to take asthma medications.”

Studies have shown BT significantly improves patients’ quality of life. In one study, patients experienced a 32 percent reduction in asthma attacks and an 84 percent reduction in asthma-related emergency department visits.

“For some people, asthma can significantly impair their life, making it difficult to work and perform daily activities,” says Graham. “While medication often provides great relief, some patients need nonmedical assistance as well. Bronchial thermoplasty has been proven to be a safe procedure.”

To learn more, call 573-331-3000.

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