The Doctors: Chronic Asthma
Asthma can be very serious for some patients, as with the woman whose story was featured on The Doctors. But a new treatment called Bronchial Thermoplasty could offer a ray of hope. Patricia has suffered with the condition for 20 years, and said it affects her every day. She has had about 100 hospital admissions, and said her worst attack was 15 years ago.
She couldn’t breathe well enough to get the phone and call 911. She said she can’t be active with her granddaughter or participate in many of the hobbies she would like to enjoy. “Not being able to breathe is the ultimate form of claustrophobia,” she said. “You really feel as if you’re trapped. I never know when I walk out the door if I’m going to make it back or not.”
Patricia joined The Doctors in the studio for a consultation with pulmonologist Dr Jeff Hales from Virginia Hospital. Dr Travis Stork said that many patients suffer from Asthma, which is typically controlled by medication. But there is a groundbreaking new hope for some patients.
The Drs: Bronchial Thermoplasty Procedure
Dr Jeff Hales explained that Bronchial Thermoplasty is “a procedure based technique for…severe asthmatics, patients that have the disease and remain symptomatic, despite using daily medications.”
The fear was evident in Patricia’s face as she recalled some of her uncontrollable symptoms. Dr Andrew Ordon noted that this process involves “putting heat into that bronchial airway with radiofrequency waves.”
Dr Hales elaborated that this therapy induces “regression of the smooth muscle,” which constricts during an asthma attack. In the procedure, a catheter applies gentle heat and keeps this from happening. The process involves three sessions, three weeks apart.
Bronchial Thermoplasty Review & Results
Patricia said this procedure has changed her life. She can breathe now and said that she feels fabulous. Dr Travis and Dr Ordon showed the difference between a normal airway and an obstructed airway, using balloons and tubes. Dr Travis’s balloon inflated easily, but Dr Ordon had trouble passing air into his balloon.
As for Patricia, she has been enjoying walking and being active. In fact, her family said they are sometimes struggling to keep up with her. Have you heard of this treatment before? It sounds promising for patients who struggle with chronic asthma symptoms.