Breakthrough Treatment for Those with Severe Asthma

Breakthrough Treatment for Those with Severe Asthma: Dr. El-GEndy performs the first Bronchial Thermoplasty in Southwest FL

More than 22 million Americans suffer from asthma. For some, the disease can be easily managed with an inhaler and other medications, but for many, it is a debilitating, life-altering (and sometimes life-threatening) condition that results in 1.8 million emergency room visits, 500,000 hospitalizations, and 4,000 deaths every year. A new procedure, called Bronchial Thermoplasty is offering hope for asthma sufferers.

On Wednesday, November 28th, 2012, Dr. Alaa El-Gendy of Florida Lung & Sleep Associates performed the first Bronchial Thermoplasty (BT) in Southwest Florida. BT is a new treatment option to treat severe asthmatics. This treatment is an outpatient procedure that reduces excessive airway smooth muscle, decreasing the ability of the airways to constrict during an asthma attack. Dr. El-Gendy is able to accomplish this by threading a small catheter through a bronchoscopy into the trachea (wind pipe). Once in place, Bronchial Thermoplasty delivers a form of thermal (heat) energy to the airway wall. The procedure is completed in three separate sessions, each targeting different areas of the lungs. The sessions are scheduled approximately 3 weeks apart to allow for adequate recovery time. The procedure is performed at Lee Memorial Hospital.

Bronchial Thermoplasty reduces the frequency of exacerbation of asthma symptoms (asthma attacks), as well as the number of emergency room visits related to respiratory events. Clinical studies, done by Boston Scientific, have shown that bronchial thermoplasty improved asthma-related quality of life out to a year. Post treatment, severe asthmatic patients experienced the benefits of an 84% reduction in emergency room visits for respiratory symptoms, a 73% reduction in hospitalizations for respiratory symptoms, a 66% reduction in days lost from work, school, or other daily activities due to asthma symptoms, and a 32% reduction in asthma attacks. This procedure is also expected to complement asthma maintenance medications, providing long-lasting benefits to improve the individual’s quality of life.

“You may be a candidate for Bronchial Thermoplasty if you are 18 years of age or older and suffer from asthma that is not well controlled despite the use of inhaled corticosteroids and/or long-acting bronchodilators” Dr. El-Gendy explained.

This procedure shows great potential in helping those individuals with asthma that do not find relief in other treatment options. “With this new procedure, we are able to greatly enhance the quality of life of our patients, and even save lives” Dr. El-Gendy says.

 “We would not have been able to offer this breakthrough treatment without the concerted effort of Alan Cunningham, Lee Memorial System Director for Respiratory Care, and Cheryl Daly, Supervisor of Pulmonary Diagnostics” Dr El-Gendy says.

About Florida Lung & Sleep Associates

Established in Lehigh Acres, Florida Lung & Sleep Associates is the leading independent community provider of pulmonary and sleep services since 2002. Florida Lung & Sleep Associates is committed to providing premier, quality, and cost-effective diagnostic and therapeutic services to its patients. Florida Lung & Sleep Associates is accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and the College of American Pathologists (CAP). Call (239) 369-333 for more information.

About Lee Memorial Health System

Open since 1916, Lee Memorial Health System is the fifth largest public health system in the United States and the largest community-owned health system in Southwest Florida. With more than 10,000 employees, the system is made up of four acute care hospitals and two specialty hospitals, as well as outpatient centers, walk-in medical centers and primary care and specialty physician offices. An award-winning health care system, it provides regional programs, such as our Trauma Center and Golisano Children’s Hospital, which serve our community members from Tampa to Miami. Visit for more information.

About Boston Scientific Corporation

Boston Scientific is one of the world’s largest medical device companies and a leading innovator of medical devices and technologies, offering breakthrough medical innovations for more than 30 years. It is a worldwide corporation that develops, manufactures, and markets medical devices that are used in a broad range for interventional medical specialties.

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