City and County Construction Inspector, Contractor, and Proud Dad
"I just want to thank Dr. Evans and thank the makers of the device used for BT because this really made a big difference in my life!"
My Life Prior to BT:
I developed severe asthma in early childhood. I grew up on the island of Kauai in Hawaii and when I was a kid they used to burn sugar cane and the smoke caused a lot of my asthma problems. Every single time they burned it I would have to go to hospital. Then in my 20s it was a little more manageable because they no longer burned the cane.
Then in my mid-thirties my asthma started to turn severe again. On the Big Island we have a volcano that generates a lot of what we call VOG (volcanic gases and smoke). In recent years we have had unusual increases in south wind (A.K.A Kona winds) which blow the VOG to all the other islands rather than offshore. The VOG triggered my flare ups and over time they just became tougher to control.
I tried lots of medications including Xolair™, Advair™, and of course lots of prednisone which made me hyper, irritable, and hungry! My wife is a nurse and she didn’t want me on that prednisone so I would try to taper off but inevitably I would need it again.
Even with the medications I still relied on my inhalers and nebulizer every day. It just continued to get worse over time. The year leading up to my BT was a loss. I basically lost the whole year to being sick and in and out of the hospital.
The impact my severe asthma was having on my life was difficult. I would max out my sick days and even vacation days. I have a young family to support so this disease was a real burden physically and financially.
I was suffering and decided to get a second opinion from another pulmonologist. That’s when I went to Dr. Evans and he told me about Bronchial Thermoplasty. I was interested in this option right away but I wanted to understand it better. Dr. Evans did a great job of explaining it to me.
I was very lucky that insurance approved it right away. I had heard that other people had to wait months to get approved. They must have seen that I was on every medication out there and was still so sick.
My Life Today
The procedures went pretty smoothly for me. I was home the same day after the first and second procedures and had a short stay after the third. I definitely had an increase in mucus and phlegm for about two weeks after each procedure, but that was expected.
I first noticed a difference several weeks after the procedures were done. Now it’s been over a year and I am feeling great. I breathe wonderfully now. There is no more wheezing. Even my primary doctor noticed how quiet I sound now.
The smoke is still coming off the volcano but I am able to be outside without having a severe flare up. I’m not missing work anymore. In fact, I haven’t missed any days from work because of asthma in over a year.
My wife sees a huge difference. She is less worried about me now. There is less of a financial burden too. No more hospital co-pays and missed work. That adds up! Best of all I have more energy to keep up with my little girl!
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
- Castro M, et al, for the AIR2 Trial Study Group. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2010;181:116-124.