Bronchial Thermoplasty

diagram showing the constricted airway of a person with severe asthma and a more open airway after broncial thermoplasty treatment

Overland Park Regional Medical Center is the only hospital in Johnson County to offer a cutting edge treatment for patients with severe asthma. Bronchial Thermoplasty or BT, is an FDA-approved bronchoscopic procedure for the treatment of severe persistent asthma.

BT is a non-drug procedure that uses thermal energy to reduce excessive airway smooth muscle that causes bronchial constriction in asthma. Reducing airway smooth muscle decreases the ability of the airways to constrict, thereby reducing the frequency of asthma attacks and providing long-lasting control in adults with severe asthma.

To be considered for BT treatment, you should:

  • Be an adult between 18-65 years old.
  • Be a non-smoker for at least the past year.
  • Have severe or persistent asthma not well controlled by inhaled corticosteroids or long-acting bronchodilator medications.

How BT is Performed

The minimally invasive bronchoscopic procedure is performed by a specially trained pulmonologist during an outpatient procedure. The BT device applies mild heat inside the airways to reduce excessive smooth muscle through a bronchoscope. No incision is required. The treatment series requires three outpatient visits, scheduled approximately three weeks apart, each treating a different area of the lungs. After all three procedures are performed, BT treatment is complete. Each session is routinely performed under moderate sedation and takes less than an hour to complete.

Proven Clinical Benefits

In a clinical study of patients with severe asthma, a one year-follow-up of patients treated with BT experienced:

  • 32% decrease in severe asthma attacks
  • 84% reduction in asthma-related emergency room visits
  • 66% fewer days lost from work, school, and daily activities due to asthma
  • 79% of patients treated with BT saw a significant improvement in their asthma-related quality of life

Five year follow-up indicates:

  • Reduction in asthma attacks, ER visits, and hospitalizations for respiratory symptoms are maintained
  • No new adverse effects of BT were detected