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Bronchial Thermoplasty - A Revolutionary Procedure for Severe Asthma

Bronchial Thermoplasty (BT) delivered by the Alair™ System, is a safe outpatient procedure for the treatment of severe asthma in adult patients 18 years and older whose asthma is not well controlled with inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting beta-agonists.

How BT Works

BT, delivered by the Alair™ System, uses mild heat to actually reduce the amount of excess smooth muscle tissue in the airways. Less muscle tissue means less airway constriction during an asthma attack. The majority of treated patients can thus breathe more easily and are less likely to have an asthma attack.

BT does not replace asthma medication but works with these medications to give added, long-lasting protection from serious asthma symptoms.

The BT Procedure

BT, delivered by the Alair™ System, is a safe outpatient procedure performed in three sessions to ensure safety and optimal results. The sessions are typically scheduled three weeks apart.

Each session is routinely performed under moderate sedation and typically takes less than an hour to complete.

No incision is needed because the procedure is performed with a bronchoscope inserted through the mouth or nose. A bronchoscope is a long, flexible tube with a camera on one end that allows the physician to see inside the airways.

The first session treats the airways in the right lower lobe of the lungs, the second treats the airways in the left lower lobe, and the third procedure treats the airways in both upper lobes of the lungs.

After all three procedures are performed, treatment is complete. The patient will return to their regular doctor to continue managing their asthma.

As with any procedure, there are risks, and individual results may vary. The most common side effect of BT is temporary worsening of respiratory-related symptoms. This side effect typically occurs within a day of the procedure and resolves within seven days on average with standard care. There is a small (3.4% per procedure) risk of these symptoms requiring hospitalization.

In a double-blind, randomized, sham-controlled clinical study of bronchial thermoplasty, adults with severe asthma that were treated with bronchial thermoplasty experienced the following significant benefits:

  • 32 percent reduction in asthma attacks
  • 84 percent reduction in emergency room visits for respiratory symptoms
  • 66 percent reduction in days lost from work, school, or other daily activities to asthma
  • 73 percent reduction in hospitalizations for respiratory symptoms

How can I learn more about BT?

Meet the Beebe Healthcare doctors providing BT to patients in Lewes, Del.

To learn more about BT, go to

Back to Beebe Healthcare Respiratory Services.