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Bronchial Thermoplasty: A New Treatment for Asthma

Alair Bronchial Thermoplasty SystemAGH is the only hospital in southwestern Pennsylvania to offer the newest technique for treating severe, uncontrolled asthma.

During an asthma attack, smooth muscle in the airways constricts, making it more difficult to breathe. Bronchial thermoplasty uses mild heat to reduce the amount of smooth muscle in the airways and minimize their narrowing during asthma attacks.

The Alair bronchial thermoplasty system is the first non-medical treatment approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treating severe asthma in adults when inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting beta-agonists fail to provide good asthma management. BT does not replace maintenance medications, but works with the patient’s medication to provide long-term stability in symptoms and lessen severe attacks.

No incisions are required for the procedure, which is performed under moderate sedation or general anesthesia by specially-trained pulmonologists. Patients undergo three separate treatments scheduled three weeks apart. Each session lasts approximately 30 minutes and focuses in a different area of the lungs until all areas are treated.

In clinical trials, 79 percent of patients treated with BT experienced significant improvement in their asthma-related quality of life. Patients involved in the study also reported an 84 percent reduction in asthma-related emergency room visits.


Consult with one of our Bronchial Thermoplasty specialists

Marvin Balaan, MD

Daniel Shade, MD

Antonios Zikos, MD


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