Bronchial Thermoplasty for Asthma

Over 22 million Americans live with asthma every day.

It severely impacts quality of life, and years of life.

Asthma is a respiratory disease that causes the airways in the lungs to narrow and make it difficult to breathe. Patients often describe this as feeling like a fish out of water, or running up and down stairs while breathing through a straw. What is more frightening is that nine people die from asthma each day. For patients living with this disease, many don’t realize the severity of their asthma.

Asthma can range from mild to severe—it’s important to recognize the severity to ensure proper treatment and preservation of lung function. Spring and summer can sometimes cause asthma which may have seemed controlled in the winter to suddenly worsen—this can be due to something as simple as a neighbor cutting grass, or humidity.

Modern Treatment | Bronchial Thermoplasty

Although there are medications aimed to reduce symptoms, patients with severe asthma sometimes still have difficulty maintaining control. There is a recent, breakthrough therapy called Bronchial Thermoplasty (BT)—the Alair System, aimed to help even the worst asthma victims. BT isn’t another medication, it’s a treatment that provides asthma control 365 days a year. Bronchial Thermoplasty is a FDA approved procedure that uses a small catheter to deliver controlled energy to the airways of the lungs – thermal energy that is about the temperature of a warm cup of coffee. This reduces the amount of excessive airway smooth muscle, thus decreasing the ability of the airways to “clamp down” during an asthma attack. Therefore, decreasing the frequency of an asthma attack and giving patients a better quality of life.

What is Bronchial Thermoplasty?

BT is a non-drug therapy, outpatient procedure done on three separate occasions, each about 3 weeks apart – each time focusing on a different area of the lung. Benefits include reductions in ER visits, reductions in hospitalizations, less frequent severe asthma attacks, and less time lost from school, work, or other daily activities. Overall, BT improves lives. Many patients have said that they have been able to reduce or eliminate their current medications after they receive BT treatment. Some patients experience a slight worsening of their asthma symptoms a day or two after the procedure; however this is expected and can be easily managed by their regular medication.

A Procedure with National Acclaim, Offered Locally

UPMC Jameson provides the only hospital in the region offering this cutting-edge therapy for our patients. Our skilled interventional pulmonologists are trained to perform Bronchial Thermoplasty. To begin your consultation process today, call UPMC Jameson Pulmonary Care at 724.656.2249.

For testimonial stories and to hear more about how BT has changed lives, visit