Bronchial thermoplasty has become one of the most effective treatments for asthma. When you are struggling with asthma, your airways inflame and become narrow. The narrowing of the airways affects your ability to breathe. Sometimes when you are struggling with asthma, you experience life-threatening attacks that cut off oxygen completely. Bronchial thermoplasty has become popular because it opens the airways in a fairly quick procedure. The procedure has lasting effects and instantly helps you find relief. It is not a one-time procedure but occurs in multiple sessions. If you suffer from asthma, bronchial thermoplasty might be the best method of treatment for you.
Asthma is a result of inflammation of the airways. When you have inflammation, there is not as much room for air to enter. The inflammation narrows these airways. The lungs also become more sensitive. In most cases, the muscles around the airways tighten which prevents the airways from being able to expand. Some people experience symptoms that are worse than others. Severe asthma will leave you feeling as if you can never catch your breath. Sometimes you have frequent asthma attacks. When you are unable to manage your symptoms, you damage your airways. The damaged airways cannot be repaired. These damages will only make symptoms worse.
There are many treatments for asthma, but if your asthma is not controlled, you may need something more than medication. Bronchial thermoplasty is a great treatment method. There are many steps to a bronchial thermoplasty. The procedure starts with a check of the lungs. It is important for the doctor to see how much air is entering the lungs. The next step is taking a steroid pill. Along with the pill, you will be given medicine to calm you and make you sleepy. The procedure may be uncomfortable, so it is important for the doctor to numb your mouth and throat to ease the discomfort. Once the medication kicks in, a tube will be placed inside the throat. The tube is called a bronchoscope. It goes into the lungs. Once in place, a smaller tube enters and goes through the airways. The procedure warms the airways. The air is not too hot, or it would cause damage. It is just warm enough to expand the airways. You are awake the whole time. Some people may fall asleep from the medication, but if you do not, you do not have to worry about feeling the procedure. The heat will not be uncomfortable, and you cannot feel the tube in your lungs.
Once the procedure is over, you will be in recovery for about four hours. The doctor will then reexamine your lungs to see if you are getting more or better airflow. Your release from the hospital is dependent upon the second lung test. If the doctor feels there is an improvement, they will send you home. If things do not improve, you will stay overnight. It is rare that you stay longer than one night. You will have a one-day, two-day, and seven-day check up. Typically a nurse calls. You do not have to go back to the hospital until you have your second treatment. Bronchial thermoplasty is done in three separate procedures over a matter of three weeks. After the third procedure, the muscles around your airways have shrunk. The shrinking of these muscles prevent muscle tightness and can ease asthma symptoms.
There are risks to treatment. You may feel short of breath and experience wheezing and coughing. After a week, you typically do not feel any more symptoms. It is rare for you to have asthma attacks or any life-threatening symptoms. The benefits of the procedure outweigh the risks. The ultimate benefit of bronchial thermoplasty is fewer asthma attacks. Most people have fewer hospital visits and report a decrease in symptoms. Everyone does not need the treatment, but many will benefit. If you are having trouble controlling your asthma symptoms, you should consider bronchial thermoplasty. Sometimes inhalers and other medications are just not getting the job done. If you are not a smoker, you will also benefit. Those who smoke only make their symptoms worse and the surgery will not be effective. The surgery is not typically suggested for children. If you are 18 and older, you are typically a candidate. It is also not suggested for patients that are too old. Anyone over the age of 65 may not be a candidate. It is always good to talk with your doctor about your candidacy.
Bronchial thermoplasty may not be the most conventional method of treatment, but it is an effective one. If you have asthma and nothing is working for you, you may need a better treatment. Asthma is a serious, life-threatening condition that you must get control of before you have airway damage. Talk with your doctor about this treatment. It could not only control your symptoms but save your life.
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