About the procedure
Bronchial thermoplasty uses heat to destroy some of the smooth muscle lining your airways. This decreases the ability of your airways to constrict, increasing your ability to breathe. The result is fewer asthma attacks. It is not a cure for asthma. After the procedure, most people will still need asthma medication.
What to expect
A bronchoscope (a small tube with wires on the end) is placed through your mouth into your lung, and the wires are opened to touch the inside of your airways. Heat from the wires destroys some of the muscle in that area. This is done three times, about three weeks apart, each treating a different part of your lungs.
The procedure is done under anesthesia in the hospital. Most patients go home the same day, or within 24 hours.
A track record of success
Bronchial thermoplasty is new to the Northwest, although it has been done across the country with very good results. Here are results from a clinical study of 300 patients:
- 32% reduction in severe asthma attacks
- 84% reduction in ER visits for respiratory symptoms
- 73% reduction in hospitalizations for respiratory symptoms
- 66% reduction in days lost from work, school or other daily activities due to asthma
Where to get bronchial thermoplasty
In the Portland-Vancouver area, bronchial thermoplasty is only available at Legacy Good Samaritan Medical Center. Jordan Fein, M.D., with Legacy Medical Group-Pulmonary, is the only doctor with the special training required to do this procedure.