What is bronchial thermoplasty?
Bronchial thermoplasty is a procedure used to treat severe asthma. It involves controlled delivery of therapeutic radiofrequency energy to the walls of the lung airways (bronchi). During inhalation, air travels through the nose and mouth into the trachea (wind pipe). The trachea further divides into two tubes called bronchus (bronchi). The bronchi branch out into smaller tubes called bronchioles.
Bronchial thermoplasty heats the bronchi to reduce the amount of smooth muscle present in the airway wall, reducing the capacity of the immune system to cause the kind of bronchoconstriction that leads to asthma attacks.
Bronchial thermoplasty is normally used in patients with severe, persistent asthma who do not respond well to medical treatment. The treatment is relatively safe and effective.
What are the benefits of bronchial thermoplasty?
Bronchial thermoplasty provides significant improvement of symptoms in patients with asthma, but it does not completely cure asthma. The benefits include the following:
- Reduction in asthma attacks
- Reduction in emergency room visits for respiratory symptoms
- Reduction in days lost from work, school or other daily activities due to asthma symptoms
- Reduction in hospitalizations for respiratory symptoms
When can bronchial thermoplasty not be done?
Bronchial thermoplasty is not recommended in following conditions:
- Psychologically unstable patient
- Poor cardiac (heart) status
- Coagulopathy (bleeding disorder)
- Consumption of high-dose steroids
- Severe underlying medical conditions
Factors that increase post-procedure risk include the following:
- Advanced age
- Coronary artery disease
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or asthma
- Extensive lung resection
- Immunocompromised status
- Morbid obesity
- Smoking history
How is bronchial thermoplasty performed?
Before the procedure
- The surgeon performs a complete physical assessment, along with radiological tests (X-ray, computed tomography scan, angiography) and laboratory tests.
- The patient is advised to quit smoking tobacco before surgery, as smoking delays the healing process.
- The patient is required to fast for up to 12 hours before surgery. Consent for the procedure is obtained prior to surgery.
During the procedure
- Bronchial thermoplasty is performed using a flexible bronchoscope during three separate outpatient procedures three weeks apart.
- Radiofrequency energy is delivered to a wire basket attached to the top of the catheter, in which thermal energy warms the lining of targeted airways to reduce airway smooth muscle mass.
- It helps to reduce, debulk, or partially eliminate smooth muscle tissue.
- The duration of each treatment lasts for about an hour.
After the procedure
- Patients are administered painkillers and antibiotics.
- Patients can go home the same day, three to four hours after the procedure.
What are the complications of bronchial thermoplasty?
The procedure is relatively safe, and complications are rare. Some possible complications are:
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Top How Long Does Bronchial Thermoplasty Last Related Articles
Adult-Onset AsthmaAdult-onset asthma is asthma that is diagnosed in people over 20 years of age. Symptoms include wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing. Treatment may involve anti-inflammatory medications or bronchodilators.
Asthma Attack SlidesAsthma symptoms include coughing, wheezing, headache, fatigue, dark circles under the eyes, trouble sleeping, and loss of appetite. Learn asthma signs and symptoms in adults and kids so you can follow your asthma action plan and know when to seek medical care for an asthma emergency.
What Is Asthma? 19 Complex FactsThere are many unusual symptoms of asthma, including sighing, difficulty sleeping, anxiety, chronic cough, recurrent walking pneumonia, and rapid breathing. These symptoms may vary from individual to individual. These asthma complexities make it difficult to accurately diagnose and treat asthma.
Asthma in Children
Asthma in children manifests with symptoms such as coughing and wheezing. Rates of asthma in children are increasing. Asthma in children is usually diagnosed based on the description of symptoms. Lung function tests may also be used. A variety of medications are used for the treatment of childhood asthma.
Asthma MedicationsThere are two types of asthma medications: long-term control with anti-inflammatory drugs and quick relief from bronchodilators. Asthma medicines may be inhaled using a metered-dose inhaler or nebulizer or they may be taken orally. People with high blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid disease, or heart disease shouldn't take OTC asthma drugs like Primatene Mist and Bronkaid.
Asthma Myths SlideshowWhat are asthma myths and facts? There is currently no cure for asthma, and no specific, single cause for asthma has been identified. Take this quiz on asthma myths to test your asthma IQ.
AsthmaAsthma is a condition in which hyperreactive airways constrict and result in symptoms like wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath. Causes of asthma include genetics, environmental factors, personal history of allergies, and other factors. Asthma is diagnosed by a physician based on a patient's family history and results from lung function tests and other exams. Inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) and long-acting bronchodilators (LABAs) are used in the treatment of asthma. Generally, the prognosis for a patient with asthma is good. Exposure to allergens found on farms may protect against asthma symptoms.
What Is Asthma? Symptoms, Causes, and TreatmentsWhat is asthma? What is the main cause of asthma? Learn information about asthma, a chronic disease of the bronchiole tubes. Discover information about asthma attacks, complications of asthma, and how to control an asthma attack.
Asthma QuizAsthma is a chronic disease of the airways of the lungs, which can be managed with proper treatment. Triggered by two main causes, asthma symptoms can be brought on by environmental factors and surprising allergens.
Asthma: Over the Counter TreatmentPatients who have infrequent, mild bouts of asthma attacks may use over-the-counter (OTC) medications to treat their asthma symptoms. OTC asthma medicines are limited to epinephrine and ephedrine. These OTC drugs are best used with the guidance of a physician, as there may be side effects and the drugs may not be very effective.
COPD vs. Asthma (Differences and Similarities)COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and asthma both have common symptoms like coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and a tight feeling in the chest. COPD is caused by tobacco smoking, while asthma is caused by your inherited genetic makeup and their interactions with the environment. Risk factors for asthma are obesity, exposure to cigarette smoke (even secondhand smoke), and personal history of hay fever. There is no cure for either disease, but symptoms can be managed with medication. A person with asthma has a better prognosis and life expectancy than someone with COPD.
Natural Ways to Ease Asthma SymptomsYou can do more than take medication to manage your asthma. Several other things can help you breathe more easily.
Nebulizer for AsthmaAsthma nebulizers, or breathing machines, convert liquid medication into mist for easy inhalation.
Occupational AsthmaOccupational asthma is a type of asthma caused by exposure to a substance in the workplace. Symptoms and signs include wheezing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath. The usual treatment for occupational asthma involves removal from exposure and the use of bronchodilators and inhaled anti-inflammatory medicines.
What Are the Four Types of Asthma?Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways (bronchi). Bronchi generally allow for the passage of air in and out of the lungs. In asthma, these airways develop hypersensitivity, inflammation, and narrowing. This causes difficulty in breathing. The four types are mild intermittent, mild persistent, moderate persistent and severe persistent.