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Bronchial Thermoplasty

Bronchial Thermoplasty at Billings Clinic

What else do you need to know about bronchial thermoplasty?

Your primary care doctor can refer you for an appointment with one of our specially trained pulmonologists.  Call your doctor for a referral.

Bronchial thermoplasty (BT) is a safe outpatient procedure for the treatment of severe asthma in adult patients 18 years and older whose asthma is not well controlled with inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting beta-agonists.

Bronchial thermoplasty uses mild heat to actually reduce the amount of excess smooth muscle tissue in the airways. Less muscle tissue means less airway constriction during an asthma attack. The majority of treated patients can thus breathe more easily and are less likely to have an asthma attack. 

Bronchial thermoplasty does not replace asthma medication but works with these medications to give added, long-lasting protection from serious asthma symptoms.

The Bronchial Thermoplasty Procedure

Bronchial Thermoplasty Procedure Animation and Description

Video provided courtesy of Boston Scientific Corporation.

Bronchial thermoplasty is an outpatient procedure performed in three sessions to ensure safety and optimal results. The sessions are typically scheduled three weeks apart. Each session is routinely performed under moderate sedation and typically takes less than an hour to complete.

No incision is needed because the procedure is performed with a bronchoscope inserted through the mouth or nose. A bronchoscope is a long, flexible tube with a camera on one end that allows the physician to see inside the airways.

The first session treats the airways in the right lower lobe of the lungs, the second treats the airways in the left lower lobe, and the third procedure treats the airways in both upper lobes of the lungs.

After all three procedures are performed, treatment is complete. The patient will return to their regular doctor to continue managing their asthma. As with any procedure, there are risks, and individual results may vary.