Retired Police Officer, Brewery Owner, and Proud Grandpa!
"I had to call Dr. Yoneda and thank him because it has just gotten better and better and I am so grateful."
My Life Prior to BT:
I developed asthma at about 49 years old. I started seeing my allergist Dr. Chipps and over the years we tried just about everything to get my asthma under control. We tried all the medications including Advair™ and Spiriva™ and I was doing regular albuterol nebs in addition to oxygen at home. I was using my inhaler at least 4 times a day. I took Medrol™ regularly and suffered with the usual side effects of steroids including bloating and weight gain.
Even with maximum medication use, my asthma was not well controlled. It just got progressively worse over time. I had several ER trips and hospitalizations. I would go completely grey from the lack of oxygen.
Living with such bad asthma affects your quality of life. I often missed social events because of flare-ups and even though I worked for myself, it impacted work too. It affects every aspect of your life when you can’t breathe well. I was so loaded with fluid that I couldn’t lay flat so often I would end up sleeping in a recliner. And I coughed constantly. I would get these severe coughing jags. I coughed so hard sometimes that I tore my chest muscles. It was embarrassing and so I stopped going places.
I have a big personality and I am normally a very boisterous guy. A few years ago, I took on the government when they tried to attack the labeling of my brewery’s beer. They were coming after my little brewery because we used “Weed,” which is the name of our town, on the label. Well, we couldn’t believe it and neither could the rest of the world. There was a media storm and I was on the cover of the LA Times, NPR, and many others to talk about our fight. We ultimately won and did not have to change our labels. I won that fight, but I was losing my fight against my severe asthma.
Dr. Chipps knew I needed to try something else and referred me for BT. I had no apprehension about it. I started taking my shirt off and said ‘show me the room for this procedure.’ I was hurting. I was on my last leg. My wife knew it, my doctors knew it. I needed this procedure badly.
My Life Today
The procedures went smoothly. I stayed at a local hotel for a night or two after each of the three procedures because I lived about 350 miles away. I did experience a slight worsening of symptoms as expected but was able to go home within 2 days after each procedure.
It’s hard to explain how drastically this has changed my life for the better. I went from being totally negative and ‘don’t bother me’ to being the gregarious, fun guy I had been before asthma. I can do so much more now. I go to social things, mass, and sporting events. Now there is laughter and fun. I do things with my grandkids. I have two grandkids and my son is expecting twins!
I don’t wheeze at all now or suffer from those awful coughing episodes. I have not had congestion or a bad asthma attack since I had my BT. I still have asthma, but it’s controlled now. I am off the steroids that I had to take for severe exacerbations and while I still have asthma and my daily maintenance medications work much better now.
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.