New Asthma Treatment -
Fiber Optic Cable Fed Into Lungs - Bronchial Thermoplasty Therapy -
May 26th 2006
There is a new treatment for asthma sufferers called bronchial
thermoplasty, where wires are snaked up inside the lungs to burn off
some of the tissue that blocks the airways. This is a non-drug therapy,
but is not without risk. The long term effects are not known, and it is
possible that the procedure could cause wheezing.
The current therapy for asthma includes inhaling large doses of steroids
twice a day. According to John McKenzie of ABC news, that is not enough
for some people. He claims that this procedure could revolutionize the
way those with asthma are treated.
So far the procedure has been tested in Canada and is now undergoing 17
clinical trials in the US. The treatment requires three out-patient
visits of about an hour each. The patients are sedated while doctors
snake the fiber-optic camera down the windpipe and into the airways that
fill the lungs.