Bronchial thermoplasty is a new way of treating severe and persistent asthma without the need for drugs.
The procedure involves heating the walls of the airways in a finely controlled way to reduce excess muscle. Excess muscle can constrict the airways and make it hard to breathe.
Your doctor will locate smooth muscle in the walls of airways in the lung. In patients with asthma, there is usually too much of this. Reducing the excess muscle then reduces the frequency of asthma attacks.
The asthma team will assess you, led by Professor Andrew Menzies-Gow, consultant respiratory physician. If you are suitable for treatment, you should be able to go home the same day you have the treatment.
What happens during the procedure?
A consultant respiratory physician will perform the procedure. They will pass a fibre-optic camera through the airways and into the lungs. During the procedure, you will be sedated rather than have a full anaesthetic.
An electrode at the tip of the tube carrying the camera will deliver short pulses of radiofrequency energy to the airway wall. The heat produced from this damages the excess muscle tissue, which stops it constricting the airways.
Asthma is a common lung condition that causes occasional breathing difficulties. There is no cure for asthma but in most sufferers, available treatments keep their symptoms under control.
Bronchial thermoplasty video
Watch Al Jazeera's 'The CURE –- Attacking Asthma' to see how bronchial thermoplasty at Royal Brompton Hospital is dramatically changing the lives of patients with severe asthma.
Asthma team contact information
Fulham wing/South block, Fulham Road
Tel: 020 7351 8892
Fax: 020 7351 8949