Kathy

 

Age: 55

Hometown: Mililani, HI

BT Doctor: Dr. Samuel Evans

Referring Doctor: Dr. Elaine Imoto

Insurance: Hawaii Medical Service Association (HMSA)

BT Procedure Date: Winter 2016

Kathy

Bank Manager who loves fishing

My Life Prior to BT:

I first developed asthma in my late twenties and it grew worse over time. We tried many medications to keep it under control including Advair™ and Qvar™ inhalers, Singulair™, Xolair™, and yet I still needed prednisone often. 

I was never hospitalized and I never went to the ER for my asthma. If I started to feel a flare-up, I would head right to the doctor to get it under control. I usually ended up on prednisone, and of course with that came the awful side effects. I suffered with insomnia and felt very hyper and jittery. Because I wasn’t sleeping well my immune system would get weaker and then I would catch something else, and we would start the whole cycle of medication over again. Colds were a big trigger for me as well as dog dander and eating raw onions! A simple cold would always go to my lungs and I would be on antibiotics and a prednisone burst again.

Even when I wasn’t having a bad flare up my asthma symptoms impacted my life. Sleep was a big issue for me. I am a light sleeper and the wheezing and coughing would keep me up. It also impacted me at work. As a bank manager, I interact with customers all day and it is difficult to talk all day when you are wheezing. Sometimes when you have an asthmatic cough it can sound like you have tuberculosis. I would get those looks that say “she must be contagious.” 

Before the Xolair™, I was using my rescue inhalers multiple times per day. The Xolair did help but was very expensive back then and a big time commitment. I had to drive 20 miles each way for the shots. I was extremely frustrated with the side effects of the many medications and the limits that my severe asthma was putting on my life.

I was referred to Dr. Evans by my pulmonologist. Once we decided to move forward with the treatment we had to submit for insurance approval. I was initially rejected but that was expected. Dr. Evan’s team submitted the appeal for me and I was approved. I would say the whole process took about 3-4 months. 

I will be honest with you, I had never been in the hospital before so I was definitely apprehensive about BT. The fear of what the procedure would be like worried me, but as time went on I became very motivated to try and get my severe asthma under control.

My Life Today:

The three procedures went well for me. It really was not as bad as I thought it might be. I was able to go home the same day after each one. I had each of the procedures on a Thursday, then took Friday off from work, and was back to work the following week with no problem. I did have some congestion after each one. It lasted the longest after the first one, about a month. By the third procedure the congestion cleared within a few days.

I didn’t notice a big difference right away. It was a few months at least before the benefits became obvious. Now it’s been over seven months and I am feeling great. I go fishing and do cardio exercises a couple of times a week. The dog doesn’t bother my asthma anymore either. 

My family and coworkers see the difference too. I am not coughing and wheezing all the time. I am moving all day long at work and when I interact with customers I am not winded or coughing through my conversations anymore.

Results from case studies are not necessarily predictive of results in other cases. Results in other cases may vary.

Brief Statement of Relevant Indications for Use, Contraindications, Warnings, and Adverse Events: The Alair™ Bronchial Thermoplasty System is indicated for the treatment of severe persistent asthma in patients 18 years and older whose asthma is not well controlled with inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting beta-agonists. The Alair System is not for use in patients with an active implantable electronic device or known sensitivity to medications used in bronchoscopy. Previously treated airways of the lung should not be retreated with the Alair System. Patients should be stable and suitable to undergo bronchoscopy. The most common side effect of BT is an expected transient increase in the frequency and worsening of respiratory-related symptoms. ENDO-551804-AA

As with any procedure, there are risks, and individual results may vary. The most common adverse event of BT is a temporary worsening of respiratory-related symptoms. These events typically occur within one day of the BT procedure and usually resolve within a week with standard care. There is a small risk (3.4% per procedure) that symptoms may require hospitalization.1

Reference

  1. Castro M, et al, for the AIR2 Trial Study Group. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2010;181:116-124.
Top