The SAMC Pulmonary Medicine department and pulmonlogist Dr. Marvin Sexton have successfully treated SAMC’s first asthma patient with Bronchial Thermoplasty (BT). SAMC is one of only two hospitals in the state offering BT treatments. The other is UAB.
BT is the only FDA approved nondrug treatment for severe asthmatic patients ages 18 and over. It is a long-term solution for patients whose asthma is not well controlled with inhalers and medications.
Three outpatient sessions are necessary, three weeks apart, to treat the right lower, left lower and upper lobes. During the procedure, with the patient under mild sedation, a catheter is used to apply radio frequency energy to the airways to reduce muscle tissue which cuts down on airway constriction.
SAMC Pulmonary Medicine Director Sue Tillis said three patients are receiving BT treatments, with one having completed treatment. “All he talks about is how much farther he can walk at the mall,” she said. “It has improved his quality of life.”