Treatment provides asthma relief - Your West Valley News: Health

Treatment provides asthma relief

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Posted: Friday, April 5, 2013 2:45 pm

Two Banner Health hospitals have introduced a treatment option for patients with severe asthma who previously had to rely solely on medication to manage severe asthma symptoms.

The treatment is available at Banner Thunderbird Medical Center in Glendale and Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center in Phoenix.

Bronchial thermoplasty is available to patients 18 years and older who suffer from severe, persistent asthma that is not well-controlled with inhaled medicines, which are the current standard-of-care treatments.

The minimally invasive, outpatient procedure is performed through a bronchoscope introduced through the patient’s nose or mouth and extending into the lungs. The tip of the small catheter is expanded to contact the walls of targeted airways. Controlled thermal energy is delivered to the airway walls to reduce the presence of excess airway smooth muscle that narrows the airways in patients with asthma. The procedure, like many other flexible endoscopy procedures, is done under moderate sedation, and the patient may return home the same day, hospital officials said.

“Banner Good Samaritan is now able to offer an effective alternative to patients who suffer from one of the most common and costly diseases in the world,” said pulmonologist David Baratz, MD, who performs bronchial thermoplasty at Banner Good Samaritan.

The procedure is done in three treatments, after which a patient should not need further intervention aside from limited medications to control asthma symptoms, officials said.

“A study completed on the safety and effectiveness of bronchial thermoplasty showed that treatment with this procedure resulted in improved asthma quality of life and considerable reductions in asthma attacks, emergency room visits, hospitalizations and days lost from work, school and other activities due to asthma,” hospital officials stated in a release.

In the United States, asthma affects almost 25 million Americans, and according to a report from the CDC, in 2007, asthma resulted in:

• 12.8 million people experiencing asthma attacks.

• 1.75 million emergency room visits.

• 456,000 hospitalizations.

• 3,447 asthma-related deaths.

To view video of the procedure, visit For information about Banner Health, visit

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