Asthma is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that causes difficulty breathing as swelling and bronchoconstriction causes the airways to narrow. Symptoms include:
- Intermittent coughing
- Shortness of breath
- Tightness in the chest
- Difficulty exercising
Our asthma specialists help people take charge of their health and lead a normal life.
A Very Treatable Disease
Uncontrolled asthma may adversely affect an individual’s quality of life. Our multidisciplinary team provides the best patient care through knowledge and utilization of the most up-to-date diagnostic tools and treatments, including ongoing clinical research. We partner with you to identify and remediate triggers by monitoring and responding to changes in symptoms and lung function. Your doctor will ask questions to understand your symptoms and their causes, working together with you, your primary care doctor and expert allergists as part of a team. You may also require a lung function test, such as spirometry or breathing tests, and a physical examination for diagnosis.
Though there is no known cure for asthma, the good news is that asthma is controllable. We take a partnership approach with you and your primary care provider so that you can alleviate your symptoms and improve your ability to take part in all of life’s activities.
Our specialists work together to combine medical therapy with patient self-management and education to ensure your success. We spend a great deal of time working to understand the extent of your asthma and overall health status and help you prepare to take an active role in managing your condition through a home action plan. We provide instruction on:
- Adjusting and using medication
- Controlling triggers
- Identifying and reacting to warning signs before an exacerbation occurs
- Monitoring your breathing
- Overcoming new problems and facing ongoing challenges
Bronchial Thermoplasty for Severe Asthma
Bronchial thermoplasty (BT) is a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure that helps people suffering from asthma that is severe or difficult to control. The treatment works by opening airways, and using gentle heat to shrink the smooth muscles in your lungs. By shrinking these muscles, the airways constrict less, making breathing easier and lessening asthma symptoms.
Studies have demonstrated the following benefits for patients who have undergone BT.
- 32% fewer asthma attacks
- 66% fewer days lost from work, school or daily activities
- 84% fewer respiratory related emergency room visits
BT is only available at select centers across the United States, including Froedtert & MCW Froedtert Hospital.
How BT Is Performed
During the BT procedure, an interventional pulmonologist will pass a small catheter through a standard bronchoscope inserted through the mouth. Once in place mild heat is delivered to the airway wall in a controlled manner to reduce the amount of excess smooth muscle tissue in the airways. Your physician will perform the procedure over three outpatient sessions that treat different parts of the lung. Each session lasts approximately an hour and are scheduled about three weeks apart.
Video Courtesy of Boston Scientific.
If you would like to talk with our care team to determine if you may be a candidate for BT, call 414-777-7700. If you are a physician with a patient who may be a candidate for BT or you would like more information, please call 414-805-4700.