Bronchial thermoplasty is a new treatment recently approved by the FDA for patients with severe asthma that is not well-controlled by medication.
In patients with asthma, the airways become inflamed repeatedly. This repeated, ongoing (or chronic) inflammation can cause the smooth muscle surrounding the airways to become thickened. This can constrict the airways and cause difficulty breathing.
Bronchial thermoplasty treats asthma by using heat energy to reduce the thickness of the smooth muscle surrounding the airways. This makes it harder for the airways to constrict and improves breathing.
Bronchial thermoplasty takes place over the course of 3 separate procedures. One procedure is performed for each of the lower lobes of the lungs, and one for both upper lobes.