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Monday, September 9, 2013

Thermal bronchoplasty

(Shutterstock image)



ABC News had a great story on TV last night about asthma. Yep, you just say the word asthma and I'm all ears!! I have asthma, as do all 3 of my teenagers (sorry I passed that onto you guys!!) I'm always interested in anything new about asthma.

Did you know that 25 million people in the US have asthma? And 2.5 million have severe asthma (which can be life threatening). One of my sons, Son #2, has severe asthma. He's been hospitalized 8 times and almost stopped breathing twice. Those were scary times!!

Sometimes, you can take A LOT of asthma medication, have 5 years worth of allergy shots, and completely change your home to make it allergy and asthma friendly. But you STILL end up in the hospital repeatedly. For some reason, medication doesn't seem to work well on people with severe asthma.They can have repeated asthma attacks and frequently end up in the emergency room or hospitalized (story of my son's life.....poor guy!!!)

If you watch the ABC News story, it can be REALLY disturbing. It shows a teenager have a severe asthma attack. But it shows an example of retraction.   Retraction is when you have a blockage in your lungs and the muscles are pulling inward to try to help you get air into your lungs. It's a medical emergency!!!! In the video, watch the teenager's collar bone protruding, and the skin sucking in around it. The skin will also pull in around the rib cage. If you ever see that on someone with asthma CALL 911!!!!

So, what do they do with people that have severe asthma? There is a newer treatment called Thermal Bronchoplasty. It is a medical procedure that uses a probe with 4 tiny wires that protrude. (For those of you that cook, it looks like a tiny wire whisk.) The tube goes down into the lungs and the 4 wires zap the sides of the bronchial tube. They say that the temperature is no hotter than a cup of coffee.It's also approved by the FDA.

So does it work????
Yes!!! Studies show that it reduces Emergency Room visits by 78%!!!!!

This isn't for mild or moderate asthma. Just for the 10% of asthma sufferers who have SEVERE asthma. If you have a family member with severe asthma, who doesn't seem to be responding to medication, talk to your doctor about Thermal Bronchoplasty. It could literally save their life!
 

12 comments:

  1. I had the surgery two years ago. Just a clarification. There's some people who have severe asthma currently who may not qualify for the surgery.

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    1. Hi Joy, yes, you're right. There's no one-size-fits all when you have asthma. It was not an option for Son #2, he has Xolair injections instead.

      But I'm glad it does work for some people! :)

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  2. My pulmonologist just mentioned broncho thermoplasty as an option to me last week. I've been reading about it for three years now and I think I'd rather exhaust other options before going that route. Would love to hear any other information, success stories or otherwise you come across.

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    1. Hi One Bad Lung, I know what you mean. I'm not ever anxious to have a surgical procedure either.

      Have you tried doing a google search for broncho thermoplasty? I know our local station had a story on it last year.

      It's hard to know though, what may work for one person may not work for you.

      You are your own best advocate. See what you can find online, maybe get a 2nd opinion and see what you feel is best for you.

      Good luck!

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  3. I am a person with "persistent" asthma at 43, I was hospitalized so many times when I was young, then seemed to "outgrow" it as a teenager only to have it come back full force in my adulthood. I have been the gammet, allergy shots, steroids out the wazoo, medication, inhalers, breathing machines, etc. etc. etc. At 38 I was on Advair daily and Rescue inhalers. It got to a point where I was willing to try anything. I remembered back to my childhood and how my grandmother cared for me when I was young with natural herbs as she was a natural healer in our community. Unfortunately when she passed she took so much of her knowledge with her. So I started to study other cultures, where expensive medicine is scarce. The more I studied the more hopeful I got. While I don't recommend quitting your asthma medications as I did "cold turkey", I do recommend trying to decide if your medicines are really working. For me the medicines did not treat my symptoms, they were only a temporary fix to my problem that was an ongoing vicious cycle. What I learned was this, I am an allergic asthma sufferer and I do need an allergy medication daily, zyrtec works well for me. I also realized that I was breathing through my mouth creating to much oxygen intake, as almost all asthma sufferers do. I had to conciously train myself to breath through my nose. But one of the most helpful natural herbs that helped me was Anise. Not Star Anise, but regular Anise. The best brand for me is a brand that comes from Mexico. When I feel the slightest bit short of breath I take a handful of Anise and chew it up very well, then swallow. The effect is an instant reduction of the airway, easier breathing, helps to break the phlegm up and I am once again breathing fine very quickly. It also has no side effects. It taste like licorice and gives fresh breath as a little plus. I gave the "remedy" to my niece and she is now off of all inhalers as well and feels great. I still go to the doctor regularly and he stated that he had heard of that as an old wives tale but was amazed that it was working for me. I don't know if it will help, but I wanted to pass along the information. Good Luck.

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    1. Hi Joy, I'm sooo glad you found something that works for you! :)

      That's the tricky thing about asthma, everyone has different triggers and different treatment plans.


      There was a time that we tried homeopathic for our son, but that was a dangerous mistake. That was one of the times he ended up in ICU. Yikes!

      We work closely with our doctor to find out what works for each of us.

      I'm glad your doctor is in the loop and you seem to have found something you like.

      Here's to happy lungs! :)

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  4. Hi.
    I'm 39, prednisone dependent, use nebulizers, steroid inhalers, rescue inhalers and several other asthma medications such as singular amongst others. I'm in and out of the hospital constantly, and have flare up cycles that are frequent and debilitating. I recently was prescribed Xolair, and now my pulmonologist tried to get prior authorization for the bronchoplasty. Unfortunately FL BCBS denied the authorization saying it isn't medically necessary. Does anyone know which health plans cover this procedure?
    Any information helps, thanks

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    1. Louisa,

      Sorry, I wish I knew. Have you checked to see if any doctors in your area offer specialty care at reduced or no cost? We have a clinic where specialists donate one day a month to help patients that can't afford it.

      Xolair takes about 4-6 months to start being effective. We noticed a difference at about 4 months with my son. He has been getting Xolair injections for 6 years, and has only been in the hospital once-a record for us!

      Maybe give the Xolair time to work? It has literally kept my son alive!!

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  5. My wife is on so many allergy medications, asthma inhalers and nebulizers and even something for acid reflux in case that may be causing things even though she never had that. Nothing is working. She got approved for the Xolair, but after having the 2nd course of the 2 injections she had an allergic reaction and anaphylactic shock. Luckily she was still at the allergist office. Yesterday she had a bronchoscopy and the pulmonologist said she is a candidate for the bronchoplasty. Now we have to get an appointment with the specialist who does that and hope the insurance will cover it.

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  6. My wife is on so many allergy medications, asthma inhalers and nebulizers and even something for acid reflux in case that may be causing things even though she never had that. Nothing is working. She got approved for the Xolair, but after having the 2nd course of the 2 injections she had an allergic reaction and anaphylactic shock. Luckily she was still at the allergist office. Yesterday she had a bronchoscopy and the pulmonologist said she is a candidate for the bronchoplasty. Now we have to get an appointment with the specialist who does that and hope the insurance will cover it.

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    1. Oh wow! You have your hands full. I'm so sorry your wife had anaphylaxis - that happened to my son after one of his allergy shots. It's very frightening and something I never want to see again as long as I live!

      I'm glad your wife is okay. I have heard good things about bronchoplasty. I hope this helps her! :)

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  7. If God love anyone in this earth, it is certainly me. i have suffered from this contagious whooping cough for some time now, my nose for me was a problem, i cry all day and night, and i have looked everywhere for a cure, but i find non. but thank God today who have cured me with the help of a herbal doctor, whose name is Doctor idumebo. he is a herbal doctor whom i meant on the internet, someone else testified of how he was cured by this doctor, and so many testimonies i found on him, so i decided to contact him. So i explained to him my problem, and he promised to assist me with the herbal cure. So i told him to do what he can do, provided i am cured. he prepared for me some herbs, and roots and send it to me here in my country. i took it for some weeks and i was finally cured by his herbal mixture. Please i want you all to be happy with me, and help me say a big thanks to God, and also Doctor idumebo for his wonderful works in my life.this herbal doctor is really a very strong herbalist. So please if you are suffering from this disease, and or any type of disease you can contact him on his email (dridumeboherbalhome@gmail.com) or you can call him on (+2347036842735). Thank you all.

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