Bronchial Thermoplasty

Bronchial thermoplasty is a new, FDA-approved therapy to give relief to people with severe asthma. It uses thermal energy to open constricted airways. Asthma is an inflammatory disease of the lung. Patients with severe asthma have a thickening of the smooth muscle that lines the airways. When that muscle contracts, it constricts the airway and makes it difficult to breathe. Medications are enough to keep the airway open for most people, but the 5 percent whose severe asthma is not well controlled by inhaled medications continue to be constricted. Bronchial thermoplasty is for people who require a high dose of inhaled steroids and a long-acting beta agonist to control their significant asthma. The procedure uses a specially designed catheter and electrode array to deliver a precise amount of radiofrequency (heat) energy to remove the excess smooth muscle. The treatment is performed in three outpatient procedures, typically three weeks apart. A clinical trial is attempting to determine if the beneficial treatment effect extends five years beyond the therapy. 


UAB Pulmonary Services is ranked among the best programs of its kind in the nation, and our physicians are consistently listed among the Best Doctors in America for respiratory disease. We serve patients at our main campus and also at our convenient neighborhood clinics in Hoover and Gardendale.

Most UAB Pulmonary Services doctors are triple board-certified in internal medicine, critical care, and pulmonary medicine. They serve on national boards and specialty organizations, speak at national conferences, publish in scientific and medical journals, and help conduct research that is recognized nationally and internationally. Our physicians are continually seeking new ways to treat lung disease and improve the techniques and care for transplant patients while contributing to the body of knowledge about lung disease. We have the only nationally accredited Sleep Medicine Fellowship Training Program in Alabama.

Many UAB Pulmonary Services physicians carry out research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to gain a better understanding of lung disease and its treatments or help turn new discoveries into therapies. Our physicians have served as presidents of many national societies, including the American College of Chest Physicians, the Association of Subspecialty Professors, and the Association of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Program Directors. The excellence of our clinical and research programs has been recognized with our membership in the NIH-funded COPD and IPF Clinical Research networks (COPDnet and IPFnet, respectively), as well as the American Lung Association's Asthma Clinical Research Network and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Therapeutics Development Network. The World Association of Sarcoidosis and Other Granulomatous Disorders (WASOG) and the Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research (FSR) have recognized UAB as a Sarcoidosis Center of Excellence.








UAB is an active participant in research and clinical trials. We encourage you to speak to your physician about research and clinical trial options and browse the link below for more information.

View Clinical Trials