For Immediate Release
Michael Hinck, Director, Public Affairs
Idan Sims, Sims & Associates, Inc.
(917) 940-7876 /(212) 725-3838
Bronchial thermoplasty, a recently FDA-approved, minimally invasive procedure to treat asthma, enables individuals living with the disease a unique way to manage their condition. Jamaica Hospital Medical Center is the only hospital in New York City to offer bronchial thermoplasty, the first nondrug treatment for severe asthma.
ÛÏBronchial thermoplasty is unique. It is the first time asthma is being treated in a physical way,Û said Dr. Craig Thurm, Director of Jamaica HospitalÛªs Division of Pulmonary Medicine. ÛÏPreviously, patients with severe asthma could only rely on medications such as high dose inhaled steroids, bronchodilators and xolair.Û
Asthma, a disease that affects the lungs, commonly causes persistent shortness of breath, a need to sit or stand up to breathe more easily, wheezing, a chest that feels closed, and the inability to speak in full sentences.
When triggered, severe asthma causes the airways in the lungs to narrow, leading to the onset of an asthma attack. Bronchial thermoplasty uses thermal energy to permanently heat and shrink thickened muscle that surrounds a patientÛªs airways.
Living with asthma can have a devastating impact on oneÛªs life. From sleeping through the night to walking to the bus stop to exercising, asthma can make even the simplest tasks difficult.
According to the Center for Disease Control, one in 12 people have asthma. There were 1.3 million asthma-related hospital visits to outpatient departments and 1.8 million emergency department visits for asthma in 2010 in the United States. Though asthma can usually be controlled by taking medications and avoiding triggers, such as mold, tobacco smoke, dust mites, and outdoor air pollution, these interventions may not work for individuals with severe asthma.
Bronchial thermoplasty involves an electrode array that is put in contact with the airway wall. Once in position, radio frequency energy is released and heats the wall of a portion of the airway in a controlled manner.
ÛÏThe procedure comprises three different sessions, scheduled three weeks apart. The first and second sessions treat the lower lobes of lungs, while the third session treats the upper lobes,Û said Dr. Thurm. ÛÏBronchial thermoplasty is offered to individuals with severe asthma, who are at least 18 years old and whose asthma is not well controlled with inhaled corticosteroids and long acting beta agonists, such as Advair, Dulera, and Symbicort, despite using them as instructed,Û he added.
ÛÏWhile bronchial thermoplasty is not likely to cure asthma,Û said Dr. Thurm, ÛÏit works as a complement to other asthma therapies.Û
ÛÏStudies have shown that bronchial thermoplasty can reduce asthma symptoms and asthma attacks, as well as emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and days lost from work and school,Û he said.
ÛÏThere is a high incidence of severe asthma cases in the communities served by Jamaica Hospital,Û said Dr. Thurm. ÛÏWe are truly excited to offer bronchial thermoplasty to patients who can benefit from it.Û
For more information about bronchial thermoplasty at Jamaica Hospital, please call 718-206-8776 or 718-206-7130.