Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center has begun offering 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.
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. Vijay Subramaniam, a board certified pulmonologist with Sentara Medical Group, 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 is the only hospital in the region and the second hospital in Virginia offering this promising asthma treatment, according to a Sentara press release.
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