Bronchial Thermoplasty

Bronchial thermoplasty is an outpatient bronchoscopy procedure that uses mild heat to reduce excessive smooth muscle in the airways, which helps reduce severe asthma attacks. Methodist Germantown Hospital is one of the first hospitals in the region to offer this new treatment for severe asthma sufferers.

How does bronchial thermoplasty work?

Bronchial thermoplasty - airways before and afterPeople with severe asthma have an excess of smooth muscle tissue lining their airways. During an asthma attack, this muscle constricts the airways, making breathing difficult. The treatment reduces the amount of excess muscle and helps minimize the narrowing of your airways during an asthma attack. 

How is bronchial thermoplasty performed?

The treatment is performed while you are under moderate sedation. A small catheter is inserted into the nose or mouth through a bronchoscope and no incision is required. The full treatment is delivered in three separate 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. 

Does bronchial thermoplasty have any side effects?

The most frequent side effects from bronchial thermoplasty include:

  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath

What makes a good candidate for bronchial thermoplasty?

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