U of L Hospital

Bronchial Thermoplasty: A New Treatment for Asthma

For most people with asthma, medicines usually open up lung airways enough to allow for normal activity. However, these medicines do not always work well in patients who have severe asthma.

For these patients, University Hospital offers a procedure called bronchial thermoplasty. For a personal account from a patient who benefited from this treatment, click here to read Shannon Denson’s story.

What is Bronchial Thermoplasty?

Using a very small tube designed to be inserted into your airway through your mouth mildly heats your airway walls. This heating may allow your airways to stay more open and help you breathe better.

Who can have this treatment?

Bronchial Thermoplasty may be right for the treatment of severe persistent asthma in patients 18 years and older whose asthma is not well controlled with inhaled corticosteroids and long acting beta agonists.

Who cannot have this treatment?

You cannot have this treatment if you have:

  • An implant with electronics. Tell your doctor if you have any implants with electronics, such as a pacemaker. BT may keep the implant from working correctly.
  • Problems taking certain medicines. Tell your doctor if you have ever had a problem taking any kind of medicines. Your doctor will use some medicines to perform BT. Your doctor needs to make sure the medicine he or she uses will not hurt you.
  • Have had this treatment before. Tell your doctor if you have had BT before.
  • You cannot have this treatment if you are less than 18 years old. No one has tested BT in patients younger than 18 years.

You cannot have this treatment while the following conditions are present:

  • An active respiratory infection. Tell your doctor if you think you have an infection, fever, or your asthma is worse than usual. If your infection is in your lungs or airway, BT may harm you.
  • Have had an asthma attack or changed your oral corticosteroid dose in the last 2 weeks. Tell your doctor if either of these happened in the last two weeks. If you have had an asthma attack or changed your oral corticosteroid dose in the last two weeks, BT may harm you.
  • A blood clotting problem. Tell your doctor if you take any drugs to keep your blood from clotting. Some call these drugs blood thinners. If you have a blood clotting problem, BT may harm you.