New asthma treatment reaches Central Texas

Wednesday, January 9, 2013 - 7:30pm

Millions of Americans are affected by asthma. Most treatments entail a steroid or inhaler regimen. But a new technology to fight the disease has now landed in Central Texas.

Bronchial Thermoplasty- The word goes over many people’s heads. But for those with asthma problems, the word, and the treatment, is a bright light at the end of a sick tunnel.

“It’s intended to basically try and control your asthma and flair-ups by 30 percent," said Maydee Rosario, a physician at Waco Lung Assocates in Waco.

Over the years she’s seen what consistent asthma can do to a person.

“They have tightness in their chest, wheezing, they miss school, they miss work. They require being hospitalized at times. Lot’s of ER visits," said Rosario.

Maydee and her coworkers are the first in the area to offer the new treatment. So new in fact, they haven’t even done it yet.

The 3-part procedure involves an endoscope which is inserted into your bodies airwaves. The endoscope then balloons to expand the vessel. A blast of thermal energy then relaxes the walls of your airwaves.- making it easier for people with persistent asthmatic problems to breathe again.

“The best example I use for my patients is when you go to get a hot-stone massage or something like that. You can have very tense muscles but after the therapy, then you’re more relaxed. And if you lose the capability of contracting by doing this kind of procedure than even though you are exposed to allergens, you’re not going to have that massive spasm that you used to have." said Rosario. "So this is not a cure for asthma. This is something we use to be able to control your asthma better.”

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