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Apollo Hospitals, Chennai successfully performed Bronchial Thermoplasty on a patient, suffering from severe asthma for over 40 years.

20 Feb 2018

Thirteen of the world's 20 most polluted cities are in India, according to the WHO's ambient air pollution database. The air in most of the Indian cities has the highest amounts of tiny suspended particles that penetrate deep into the airways and lungs to cause asthma, bronchitis, heart disease, stroke and a clutch of other diseases.

Between 15 and 20 million people have asthma in India, estimates the World Health Organisation, with some studies putting the numbers higher at 30 million. Prevalence is high at 10% and 15% in 5-11 year-old children who have smaller airways that get constricted when exposed to allergens such as pollutants, dust, weather changes, pollen, mites and hazardous gases in indoor and outdoor air. This makes asthma the most common chronic disorder in India.

A 66-year-old female patient was suffering with severe, persistent, drug-resistant asthma that restricted not only her breathing but her daily life for over 40 years. She had recurrent asthma attacks and frequent emergency room visits, despite her medication regimes. Dr. R. Narasimhan, Pulmonologist, Apollo Hospitals performed Bronchial Thermoplasty, the first non-drug procedure for Asthma which has been life-changing for her.

Similarly, every day in the patient's life was tough with severe asthma punctuated by wheezing, breathlessness and chest tightness. She was brought to Apollo Hospitals when her situation became unbearable. Bronchial Thermoplasty, an advanced medical procedure that effectively "heats" the inside of the bronchial tubes to widen the airways provided much needed relief to her.

Bronchial Thermoplasty therapy helps clear the bronchial airways by delivering thermal energy to the smooth muscle. This process decreases constriction in the patient's airways and enables easier breathing, reducing the frequency and severity of asthma attacks for patients with severe, persistent, drug-resistant asthma.

Explaining the case further, Dr. R. Narasimhan, said, "The procedure involved the insertion of a small tube into the patient's airway through which therapeutic radio frequency energy was passed to heat the smooth muscles that narrowed the airway. Bronchial Thermoplasty is performed under moderate anaesthesia either on a day care basis with a day's hospitalisation. Hence, any patient who suffers from severe, drug-resistant asthma can be recommended for the procedure. Bronchial Thermoplasty Therapy holds great promise to help as a good solution for patients suffering with asthma."

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