PAMF Health Blog

Be Well, Be Well Informed

Breakthrough Treatment for Severe Adult Asthma

Posted on May 7, 2013


For the millions of adults who have asthma, there has never been a cure, only medication options for preventing or treating asthma attacks. The Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) now offers a new procedure called bronchial thermoplasty that gives long-term relief from asthma.

PAMF was among the first medical providers in the United States to offer this new procedure for patients with severe asthma. Ganesh Krishna, M.D., is an interventional pulmonologist with expertise in pulmonary critical care medicine, who practices at PAMF’s Mountain View Center. Dr. Krishna is an expert at bronchial thermoplasty and other highly specialized, minimally invasive pulmonary treatments.

“We are leaders in bronchial thermoplasty and one of the most experienced centers in the world,” Dr. Krishna said. “Other physicians travel to our center from all over the country for training in this breakthrough procedure.”

According to Dr. Krishna, bronchial thermoplasty is ideal for adults (18 years and older) who suffer from severe persistent asthma that is not well controlled with inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting beta agonists, the current standard-of-care treatments.

How Bronchial Thermoplasty Works

Bronchial thermoplasty is a noninvasive procedure that uses radiofrequency energy to relieve asthma symptoms. It is performed with a flexible bronchoscope that is introduced through the patient’s nose or mouth into their lungs. During an asthma attack, the smooth muscles of the airways contract. The radiofrequency energy heats the smooth muscle walls of the airway, narrowing them without scarring or damage. The narrower muscle walls can no longer contract as much when irritants trigger asthma attacks, resulting in relief from uncomfortable asthma symptoms. You can watch an animation of the procedure online.

Ganesh Krishna, M.D., PAMF Interventional Pulmonologist

The bronchial thermoplasty procedure can improve patients’ quality of life, as well as considerably reduce asthma attacks, emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and days lost from work, school or other daily activities due to asthma.

Learn more about Asthma and Asthma Resources on the PAMF website.

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