Nurse and Runner
"I had a celebration for my anniversary of BT….that’s how much better I feel. BT has been a life-changer for me."
My Life Prior to BT:
I developed asthma in my late teen years, but it wasn’t until my mid-thirties that it really turned severe. Before severe asthma I was a big athlete, competing in triathlons.
As my severe asthma worsened, I tried many medications like Advair™, Zopenex™, Symbicort™, Dulera™, Spiriva™, and Xolair™ shots. In the years leading up to my Bronchial Thermoplasty (BT), I was using my nebulizer three to four times a day and my rescue inhaler around the clock!
Once I had a severe attack, if another one came, I would pass out. I’ve been carried into the ER more than once and they would always consider intubating me. It got to the point where I would be in the hospital every month, often in the ICU on BiPap.
The impact severe asthma had on my life was devastating. I couldn’t do what I wanted to do anymore. It was very depressing to go from being such an active person to just being focused on taking my next breath. I couldn’t do my races anymore. I missed so much work. Managing my severe asthma became the center of my life.
When my pulmonologist first mentioned BT, I was very interested. I was honestly feeling quite desperate to get this under control. My insurance originally denied coverage of the procedure. Then my employer changed ownership and our coverage changed to Blue Cross Blue Shield. As soon as I was on the new insurance, I was approved right away.
My Life Today:
The BT procedures went pretty well for me. I did have some complications after my first procedure. I went home the same day but developed a small infection and was treated with antibiotics. But I can tell you I would do it again in a heartbeat.
Since BT I’ve just felt better and better. I’ve had no ER trips and no hospitalizations, which is pretty amazing since I was a regular at the hospital before BT. I don’t miss work anymore because of my severe asthma.
The best part about having my severe asthma under control finally is being able to get back to my races. I eased back in. I started with walking short distances and built up to 5-10 miles a day. I recently completed a 10-mile race and I had no asthma issues! It was such an amazing feeling. I feel like I’ve got my life back!
It has been almost two years now and I am doing so much better. Even though we’ve had bad flu seasons and I work in a hospital, I’ve had no asthma-related issue at all. Before BT a cold would always lead to an ICU admission because my severe asthma would flare up so badly.
Everyone including my coworkers and family notice a big difference. No more coughing. I am much healthier from being more active and not needing the prednisone bursts for attacks anymore. Folks are commenting on how great I look!
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.