29 July 2012

Bronchial Thermoplasty VIDEO of NEW Treatment for Severe Asthma

Bronchial Thermoplasty is a new treatment for severe asthma offered in the U.S and Europe. My mother-in-law Judy Kassees was successfully treated last summer. It has vastly improved the quality of her life! Prior to this treatment she could not breathe.
She was depressed, miserable, scared and became "kind of a hermit". 
She thought it was easier to die than try to breathe.
Judy says "It was a miserable way of life"

Living with asthma can be scary. Grandmother Judy had been diabled by her severe asthma.
I am writing about this treatment to help others with severe asthma like Judy and because I have two sons with asthma.
My oldest son Alexander is also allergic to peanuts and the reason I write this blog about a new treatment for people with food allergies to peanuts, milk, egg, wheat, tree nuts or soy. 

Although my sons' asthma is not as severe Judy's we are well acquainted with its effects. The asthma was worse when the boys were small yet sadly Alexander and his brother Dylan have diminished lung capacity.

This treatment was very successful in my mother-in-law.
Now Judy only occasionally has a little bit of asthma. She has no more asthma attacks.
Her airways don't close up anymore. She says it is a miracle.

This is my understanding of this innovative treatment from Boston Scientific: "The Alair® Bronchial Thermoplasty System developed by Asthmatx was approved by the FDA on April 27, 2010 for the treatment of severe persistent asthma in patients 18 years and older whose asthma is not well controlled with inhaled corticosteroids and long acting beta agonists"according to their website.*

Bronchial Thermoplasty uses radiofrequency energy that delivers heat through a small catheter placed in a bronchoscope. The bronchoscope is placed down into the airways.
Procedure Animation

"In the lungs "controlled thermal energy is delivered to the airway wall to reduce the amount of airway smooth muscle and lessen these muscles’ ability to narrow the airway, 
thereby reducing symptoms in patients with severe asthma." *

Thinner walls/ less muscles = reduced airway constriction which results in better airflow. 

The video below states "treatment helps adult patients with severe asthma achieve better control of their asthma symptoms for years rather than hours which was all that could be expected with medications alone."

Gary Weinstein, MD a pulmonologist at Southwest Pulmonary Associates of Dallas describes the treatment on the video below. 
The outpatient treatment is done in 3 sessions. The sessions are scheduled 3 weeks apart.
Session 1-  Right Lower Lobe treated 
Session 2 - Left Lower Lobe 
Session 3 - Both Upper Lobes

Watch this video which includes my mother in law describing her situation
and how she feels today.
This unique and innovative treatment was life changing for Judy.

Please share this blog post to anyone you know with asthma or severe asthma.  You may be saving their life.

Judy thanks Dr. Suneel Kumar, MD of Southwest Pulmonary Asso. and Boston Scientific for the Bronchial Thermoplasty. She was the first patient in Texas to undergo this treatment. At that time the procedure was only performed in 2 places in Texas. This procedure was performed in Europe for 5 years prior to FDA approval. 

According to the Center for Disease Control 22 million people in the U.S. have asthma.  Of those people 10-15% have severe asthma. Approximately 3500 deaths occur each year in the U.S. due to asthma.

Please know I am not a doctor. Don't rely on the information in this post. I have zero medical training. I am just sharing this information to tell Judy's story. Talk to your doctor to learn more about it.
I hope this post helps you or someone you love.

To God be the Glory!- Julie


For further information from Boston Scientific see their website Bronchial Thermoplasty

Treatment Locations for Bronchial Thermoplasty:

United States
Since last summer many doctors have received training the this procedure.
My research indicates that it is now available in 42 states. 
Insurance- note- not all insurance companies will pay for this treatment, perhaps because it is new. 

Gary Weinstein,MD and Suneel Kumar, MD at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital
Victor M. Gomez, MD or Allan Shulkin, MD at Medical City Dallas

Joseph Varon, MD at University General Hospital

Timothy A. Connolly, MD and Lisa M. Kopas, MD and Clinton Doerr, MD
J. Fernando Santacruz, MD - all at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital

San Antonio
Michael Wooley, MD at Methodist Hospital
Jairo Mello, MD

New York City 
Arthur Sung, MD at Beth Israel 
William Bulman, MD at New York Presbyterian- Columbia  

Denver at National Jewish

U.C Davis Medical Center
St. Mary Medical Center in Long Beach
Palo Alto Medical Foundation - Ganesh Krishna, MD

South Miami Hospital, Rodney Benjamin, MD and Jacky Blank, MD
Orlando Regional Medical, Mark A. Vollenweider, MD
Baptist Hospital of Miami,  Raul R. Valor, MD
Memorial Hospital of Tampa, Adam Katz, MD and Imran Khan, MD
Shands Hospital at University of Florida in Gainesville,  Michael Jantz, MD

D. Kyle Hogarth, MD at University of Chicago Medical Center
Kevin Kovitz, MD at Central DuPage Hostpial

David Wilson, MD at Columbus Regional Hospital Lung Institute

International Locations:

Canada- Gerard Cox, MB and John D. Miller, MD at St. Joseph's
Michel Laviolette, MD in Quebec

UK - United Kingdom
Robert Niven, MD in Manchester
Bernard Higgins, MD in High Heaton, Newcastle Upon Tyne

Germany  Prof. Felix Herth, MD in Heidelberg

Stefano Gasparini, MD in Ancona
Dardes Nicola, MD in Rome at Rome American Hospital

Czech Republic - Jiri Votruba,MD

Hans Christian Siersted, MD in Odense at Odense University Hospital

1- the Video above
2- * Brochial Thermoplasty website -link shown above