in terms of treating asthma, there is a newprocedure called bronchial thermoplasty, which has been approved by the fda for treatingpatients with severe, persistent asthma. theyâ€™re patients who are calling the office, theyâ€™re on and off prednisone,they're in the emergency rooms, they're missing school, they're missing work, they're hospitalized;those are the patients we can treat with this procedure called bronchial thermoplasty. theprocedure is actually three separate procedures. we treat the bottom of the right lung first.about a month later, we treat the bottom of the left lung, and then a month later, thetop of the both lungs. itâ€™s an outpatient procedure. we perform the procedure in thebronchoscope suite. a patient would come in, they would have a hospital gown put on, andan iv put in. we work with our anesthesiologists.
they're completely asleep for the procedure.the procedure lasts for about forty-five minutes. the way the procedure works is that we delivershort bursts of thermal energy to the airways. physiologically, that thins out the smoothmuscle. when a patient breathes in an allergen, theyâ€™re less likely to be broncospastic,because of the decrease in smooth muscle. the vast majority of patients can go homeafter the procedure. there is concern that the procedure will cause an asthma flare.to mitigate that or minimize that, we pretreat patients with prednisone. eighty percent ofthe patients have a significant improvement following treatment. there's less hospitalizations.there's less trips to the emergency room. there's less prednisone use. there's lessasthma flares. we now have data that suggests
that the effects last for at least five years.i've had patients who feel better after the first treatment. most people feel better afterthe first or second production--so one to two months after the treatment. the biggestproblem with bronchial thermoplasty is getting insurance pre-approval. its a relatively newprocedure. in order to combat that, at pulmonary associates, we have personnel dedicated towork on the pre-approval process. asthma is a major problem in the lehigh valley. notonly do we have very high levels of allergens, but we don't have the best air quality andtogether those two factors, make it difficult for people with asthma and other respiratoryconditions. this technique is really special. not only is it helping patients manage theirasthma, but its really helping them manage
their lives. the problem with asthma is that,you never know when the next flare is coming. one day you can be good and the next day,you're not and what we found is this procedure gives patients control back in their lives.