New Severe Asthma Treatment Heats Sections of the Airway - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

New Severe Asthma Treatment Heats Sections of the Airway

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A new kind of treatment could have severe asthma patients breathing easier, by using heat to open the airways.

Being back at work full time as a respiratory therapist is small miracle for Greg Morgan. His severe asthma had him on his couch for a whole month last summer.

"There's no feeling in the world like not being able to breathe." says Morgan.

He used his inhaler and nebulizer from ten to 26 times a day.

But a new procedure called Bronchial Thermoplasty has changed his life.

"Its amazing." says Morgan.

Pulmonologist, Dr. Erhan Dincer, performs the procedure using a device made by Boston Scientific.

"By using the Bronchoscope, we go through their airways and apply heat to their airways and we aim shrink the smooth muscle around the airways." says Dr. Dincer.
Sections of the airways are heated to about 150 degrees 10 seconds at a time.

"Basically we shrink the smooth muscle around the air tubes so it basically opens up the airways and they can breathe easier." says Dr. Dincer.

The whole process includes three treatments over nine weeks.  Right now it is only offered to those with severe asthma that is not controlled well.

While this procedure is still quite new we wondered could it eventually be offered to anyone with asthma?

"I think it will be." says Dr. Dincer

Since his Bronchial Thermoplasty, Morgan now breathes easily.
"I have not used either the inhaler or the nebulizer at all since then so it's been just an amazing turn of events for me." says Morgan.

Bronchial Thermoplasty was FDA approved in 2010, but not all insurance plans cover it.