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Bronchial Thermoplasty

New Asthma Procedure Exclusively Performed at Ochsner Medical Center - Kenner

Do you suffer from severe asthma? Ochsner Medical Center - Kenner can offer relief.

  • Bronchial Thermoplasty is a premiere procedure that prevents airways from closing through a series of treatments
  • Available for adults whose severe, persistent asthma symptoms are not alleviated through the use of an inhaler

A new non-drug, FDA approved procedure called Bronchial Thermoplasty, using radiofrequency energy to reduce airway smooth muscle, is bringing relief to asthma patients whose symptoms are not controlled by other therapies.

Richard Tejedor, MD, the only pulmonologist in the Gulf Coast region performing this outpatient procedure, began offering it at Ochsner Medical Center - Kenner earlier this year. The  patients who have already undergone Bronchial Thermoplasty at Kenner have all had  good outcomes.

“Bronchial Thermoplasty is recommended for patients 18 years and over whose asthma is not well-controlled by maximal therapies. A bronchoscope delivers a source of radiofrequency energy into the airway, resulting in a reduction in airway smooth muscle mass and decreasing constriction that leads to asthma symptoms,” says Dr. Tejedor, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Pulmonary/Critical Care Section, LSU Health Sciences Center.

The tissue is heated to 160-degrees for 10 seconds in a precise, controlled application. The application of heat is repeated every 5 mm in the airway and up to 10 mm in diameter.  In research studies, this treatment has proven to increase asthma control, improve quality of life and reduce asthma attacks and emergency room visits.

The procedure is performed in three sessions, approximately three weeks apart, to treat different areas of the lungs. Most patients see improvement after the second treatment, Dr. Tejedor says. “Thus far, referrals have been patient-driven as manyasthma patients are seeking new treatments. Physicians throughout the region, especially allergists and pulmonologists, are becoming more aware of Bronchial Thermoplasty now available benefit some of their most difficult patients.

“I tell patients that while the procedure is not designed to get them off all their  asthma medications, it has shown to bring overall improvements such as a reduced number of severe exacerbation, fewer lost days from work or school and fewer hospitalizations.”  The Bronchial Thermoplasty series is a one-time therapy, and patients who have had recent asthma flare-ups or infections will need to wait until full recovery before undergoing the procedure.

Dr. Tejedor says Ochsner Medical Center - Kenner works well with referring physicians to make evaluating patients and scheduling Bronchial Thermoplasty as convenient as possible. “Our initial patients have been from out of state. We also expect to serve more patients from throughout the local region.”