Bronchial Thermoplasty

Bronchial Thermoplasty (BT) is a surgical procedure approved for adults aged 18 or older whose asthma is not adequately controlled using a combination of inhaled corticosteroids and a long-acting bronchodilator.

Approved by FDA in 2010, the procedure is performed in outpatient visits, under moderate or general anesthesia. The pulmonologist or other qualified physician uses a bronchoscope (a tiny catheter) to heat and reduce the size of muscle tissue along the lung’s airways, thereby allowing more air to pass through.

Patients with severe asthma often struggle to achieve a normal quality of life, with few treatment options. Scientific literature supports the Bronchial Thermoplasty Alair System as an effective therapy for some of these patients. Allergy & Asthma Network believes patients have the right to receive this therapy when their physician determines it is appropriate, and we urge health insurance payers to offer coverage.

The Network recommends that all public and private insurers provide coverage and payment for Bronchial Thermoplasty for patients with severe persistent, poorly controlled asthma who continue to experience asthma exacerbations, emergency department visits and hospitalizations despite the best medical treatment. 

Download The Network’s BT Position Statement to send to your insurance company, asking them to cover Bronchial Thermoplasty for qualified patients.

Patients’ stories:  Tony Cook 
                                   Laurie Hochstettler

The Alair™ Bronchial Thermoplasty System is a product of Boston Scientific.