Bronchial Thermoplasty

Bronchial thermoplasty (BT) is a new treatment option for severe or persistent asthma. Recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), bronchial thermoplasty is an innovative outpatient procedure that uses the power of thermal energy to help adults with asthma breathe easier.

Asthma causes a number of respiratory symptoms, such as wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath and chest tightness.

The pulmonary professionals at O2 Pulmonary & Sleep Group perform BT for patients with severe or uncontrolled asthma.

Bronchial Thermoplasty Effectively Treats Asthma

Asthma is a long-term lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways. Inflammation and narrowing prevents air from moving in and out of the lungs, which makes it difficult to breathe. Chronic airway inflammation can thicken muscle cells in certain parts of the lungs and respiratory system, known as airway smooth muscle (ASM), which worsens the symptoms of asthma. In fact, people with severe asthma often have thickened ASM. Thickening of the ASM increases the amount of muscle mass in the airway, and this excess muscle mass can constrict airflow.

BT is the first asthma treatment aimed at reducing the thickness of ASM to reduce constrictions and improve airflow. Patients who have undergone the procedure enjoy significant improvement in the number of severe asthma flare-ups, asthma symptoms and visits to emergency departments.

What to Expect with BT

There are three parts to a full course of BT treatment – one procedure for each lower lobe of the lung and another single procedure for both upper lobes. Our pulmonologists recommend patients wait at least three weeks between treatments.

Our doctors who specialize in lung function, known as pulmonologists, typically perform BT in outpatient clinics but we also see patients in the hospital.

The lung professionals at O2 Pulmonary & Sleep Group administer sedation then insert a thin flexible tube, known as a catheter, through the patient’s nose or mouth into the lungs. The catheter allows the doctor to deliver precisely controlled heat to the affected airways in the patient’s lungs. This heat reduces the amount of smooth muscle in the airway wall, which means there is less muscle to constrict the airways.

Our team of dedicated professionals monitors each patient closely throughout the procedure and through the recovery process. Patients typically return home within a few hours.

All medical procedures, including BT, pose a risk for side effects. The most frequent side effects from BT include coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath.

Become a BT Patient at O2 Pulmonary & Sleep Group

Our pulmonologists at O2 Pulmonary & Sleep Group can help determine if BT is appropriate for a patient. For consideration, a patient should:

  • Have severe or persistent asthma not well-controlled by long-acting bronchodilator medications or inhaled corticosteroids
  • Be an adult aged 18 to 65
  • Be a nonsmoker for at least the past year

If you or someone you love suffers from severe or uncontrolled asthma and want to learn more about bronchial thermoplasty, contact O2 Pulmonary & Sleep Group by calling us at 214-865-7788 or by filling out our form and contacting us online.