East Ohio Regional Hospital said on Monday it has unveiled a first-of-its-kind procedure to treat adults who suffer from severe asthma.
It’s called Bronchial Thermoplasty, and it’s an outpatient procedure that doesn’t just control the symptoms people who suffer, it actually treats them and improves their quality of life long-term.
Dr. Melvin Saludes was the first doctor in the area in the Cleveland to Pittsburgh region to perform the procedure which is done in three separate steps. It takes about an hour from start to finish.
“So this therapy is actually a therapy we consider a disease modifying, instead of just a treatment, we’re actually changing the natural course of the disease process,” Dr. Saludes said.
In a clinical study, 79 percent of severe asthma sufferers treated with the procedure saw a significant improvement in their quality of life. There was also a 32 percent reduction in asthma attacks and an 84 percent reduction in emergency room visits for respiratory related symptoms.
More than 25 million people in the United States suffer from asthma, with five to 10 percent suffering from severe asthma. Before the procedure, doctors only had pharmaceutical medications to offer to patients for temporary relief of symptoms.
The Bronchial Thermoplasty offers a safe, long-lasting treatment to reduce asthma attacks.
According to the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, the reduction in severe asthma attacks was maintained out to five years, while the visits to emergency rooms was also down.