Saint Louise Regional Hospital announced today that it will be among the first in the U.S. to offer a new, minimally invasive procedure for severe asthma patients, according to a press release.
Known as Bronchial Thermoplasty, the procedure was recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It is available to patients 18 and older who suffer from severe persistent asthma that cannot be managed with inhalers.
Data from a clinical research trial shows that treatment via Bronchial Thermoplasty resulted in improved quality of life for asthma patients, as well as considerable reductions in asthma attacks, emergency room visits, hospitalizations and missed days of work, school or other daily activities.
Asthma accounts for 2 million ER visits each year in the U.S., according to the press release. Each day, there are roughly 40,000 unscheduled physician office visits, 5,000 ER visits and 1,000 hospitalizations due to asthma.
How it works
Bronchial Thermoplasty is performed through the working channel of a standard flexible bronchoscope that is introduced through a patient’s nose or mouth, and into their lungs. Controlled thermal energy is then delivered to the airway walls to reduce the presence of excess muscle that narrows the airways of asthma patients. This minimally invasive procedure, like many other flexible endoscopy procedures, is done under moderate sedation. The patient returns home the same day.
In a clinical trial, patients who underwent Bronchial Thermoplasty yielded the following results:
– 32 percent reduction in asthma attacks
– 84 percent reduction in emergency room visits for respiratory symptoms
– 73 percent reduction in hospitalizations for respiratory symptoms
– 66 percent reduction in days lost from work, school or other daily activities due to asthma
Source: Saint Louise Regional Hospital