Bronchial Thermoplasty - The Procedure

The Procedure

A full course of bronchial thermoplasty treatment includes three separate bronchoscopic procedures: one for the each lower lobe of the lung and another for both upper lobes. Each outpatient procedure is performed approximately three weeks apart.

Under sedation, a catheter inside a bronchoscope—a thin, flexible tube-like instrument introduced through the patient’s nose or mouth, and into their lungs—delivers thermal energy into the airways. The patient is monitored after the procedure and usually returns home that day or early the next day. The catheter delivers a series of 10-second temperature controlled bursts of radio frequency energy which heat the lining of the lungs to 65 degrees Celsius. It is this heat that destroys some of the muscle tissue which constricts during an asthma attack, reducing the number and severity of exacerbations.

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