Bronchial thermoplasty is a new, FDA-approved therapy to give relief to people with severe asthma. It uses thermal energy to open constricted airways. Asthma is an inflammatory disease of the lung. Patients with severe asthma have a thickening of the smooth muscle that lines the airways. When that muscle contracts, it constricts the airway and makes it difficult to breathe. Medications are enough to keep the airway open for most people, but the 5 percent whose severe asthma is not well controlled by inhaled medications continue to be constricted. Bronchial thermoplasty is for people who require a high dose of inhaled steroids and a long-acting beta agonist to control their significant asthma. The procedure uses a specially designed catheter and electrode array to deliver a precise amount of radiofrequency (heat) energy to remove the excess smooth muscle. The treatment is performed in three outpatient procedures, typically three weeks apart. A clinical trial is attempting to determine if the beneficial treatment effect extends five years beyond the therapy.
IMAGES AND VIDEOS
UAB nurse, Barbara, diagnosed with cancer in both lungs, is now cancer free and thriving, thanks to treatment from her multi-disciplinary care team at UAB Medicine.
Barbara, a nurse in UAB's High Risk OB Clinic, was referred to the Interventional Pulmonology & Pleural Disease Program after an annual physical revealed spots on both her lungs. In a single bronchoscopy procedure, UAB Interventional Pulmonology and Pleural Disease physicians were able to biopsy her lymph nodes as well as locate and biopsy both spots, determining they were two separate and curable stage-one cancers, and allowing for more timely treatment. Barbara shares the story of her journey back to good health with help from a compassionate, multi-disciplinary care team at UAB Medicine.
UAB is an active participant in research and clinical trials. We encourage you to speak to your physician about research and clinical trial options and browse the link below for more information.View Clinical Trials