New asthma treatment has patients breathing easier
Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center now offers a new treatment for severe asthma called Bronchial Thermoplasty. This minimally invasive outpatient procedure uses a bronchoscope to deliver thermal energy to the lungs of patients with asthma in order to decrease the amount of smooth muscle in the lungs – the muscles that constrict and result in asthma symptoms. The entire treatment is administered over three visits, each treating a different part of the lungs. Patients gain better control of their asthma because the lungs are not able to constrict as much and react as vigorously to asthma triggers.
"The goal of the procedure is to improve asthma control, decrease exacerbations and hopefully decrease the amount and strength of the medications required to maintain asthma control," says Dr. Vijay Subramaniam, a board certified pulmonologist with Sentara Medical Group. Bronchial Thermoplasty was approved by the FDA in 2010 for patients over 18 with severe asthma. The procedure has been clinically proven to demonstrate an improved quality of life for asthma patients with benefits that include:
- Fewer asthma attacks
- Fewer Emergency Room visits for respiratory symptoms; and
- Fewer days lost from work/school or other activities due to asthma
Dr. Subramaniam is currently performing Bronchial Thermoplasty at Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center. He is also training other physicians in the country on how to perform this new procedure. Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center is the only hospital in the region and the second hospital in Virginia offering this promising asthma treatment.