Bronchial Thermoplasty for Asthma

Published On 04/11/2014

Methodist Germantown is one of the first hospitals in the region to offer bronchial thermoplasty—an outpatient procedure to reduce severe asthma attacks.

Treating Asthma by Removing Excess Smooth Muscle

Bronchial thermoplasty - airways before and afterPeople with severe asthma have extra smooth muscle tissue in their airways. During an asthma attack, the muscle narrows the airways and makes breathing difficult. Bronchial thermoplasty reduces the excess muscle, so your airways constrict less during an asthma attack. 

Procedure and Timeframe

You’ll be under moderate sedation for the procedure. A small catheter will be inserted into your nose or mouth through a bronchoscope; no incision is required. The full treatment is delivered in three separate outpatient sessions, each scheduled three weeks apart. You can expect to be in the hospital for two to four hours each visit. The procedure itself takes about one hour. 

Side Effects

The most frequent side effects include:

  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath

Is Bronchial Thermoplasty Right for You?

The best candidates for this treatment are:

  • Adults 18 years and older
  • Adults with severe asthma that is not well controlled with inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting bronchodilator medications 

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