What is Bronchial Thermoplasty?
Unfortunately, some asthma sufferers have severe asthma that is present despite the use of the standard treatment options. There’s a newer technology available to help people that fall in this category get some relief called bronchial thermoplasty. Bronchial thermoplasty can be helpful for many people who have not found relief with the usual medications. This technology actually treats airway smooth muscle directly.
What is airway smooth muscle? If we imagine the airway as several tubes tied together, at the end of the tubes there are tight little bands around the tubes. These bands are the smooth muscle of the airway, and that smooth muscle around the tiniest airways is quite reactive in people suffering from asthma. This airway smooth muscle can actually stay tight and stay constricted.
Bronchial thermoplasty seems to be a way to shock those little tiny airway smooth muscle cells and prevent them from further constriction, thus preventing asthma attacks right where they happen.
Bronchial thermoplasty is delivered in a doctor’s office under some mild sedation with a tube that goes into the lung and triggers small radio waves to a depth of about 5 millimeters that penetrate into the airway smooth muscle and make it less able to constrict. This procedure is usually done in thirds so it’s done over 3 visits. After the entire lung has undergone bronchial thermoplasty is when a person typically feels the full benefits of the procedure.