A new procedure for treating severe asthma is available at Pikeville Medical Center (PMC). Bronchial thermoplasty is a non-drug, outpatient procedure that has been clinically proven to reduce asthma attacks for at least five years.

“There are only a few centers in Kentucky with this new technology,” said PMC Pulmonologist Dr. Obaeda Haroush “Pikeville Medical Center is the only facility in eastern Kentucky to offer this procedure.”

People with severe asthma have more smooth muscles in their airways. These muscles, together with inflammation, combine to make the airway walls thicker than normal, causing breathing difficulty.

During bronchial thermoplasty, a flexible tube is inserted into the airway through the mouth or nose. The tube has an expandable tip that delivers heat to the airway muscle. This mild heat reduces the airway muscles and prevents them from contracting during an asthma attack. Three procedures are needed to treat all areas of the lung.

Patients eligible to receive this treatment must be at least 18 years of age and have severe persistent asthma that doesn’t improve with medications such as inhaled corticosteroids or other long-term asthma medications.

Although bronchial thermoplasty does not cure asthma or completely eliminate its symptoms, the procedure reduces symptoms allowing patients to need less intensive health care than those who did not undergo the procedure.

“Asthma is prevalent in eastern Kentucky and about five percent of patients suffer with severe asthma,” added Dr. Harfoush. “The PMC pulmonary clinic wanted to offer this service to help our patients enjoy a better quality of life.  At PMC, our goal is to offer quality in medical care to our patients.”

For more information on bronchial thermoplasty or to schedule a physician appointment, call 606-218-2208.

Source:, Mayo Clinic