No drugs needed for new asthma treatment

May 18, 2012 2:42:16 PM PDT
A new asthma treatment is helping some people breathe easier.

It's called bronchial thermoplasty. It is the first FDA-approved, non-drug treatment for asthma that could offer long-term relief.

Here's how it works:

A flexible tube is passed down to the source of the bronchial tubes, the source of an asthma attack.

Radio-frequency energy is then applied, which shrinks the tissue and makes it less likely to constrict and cause an asthma attack.

Three sessions are needed, though it is only for people with severe cases.

"This is for the population of patients who have severe, persistent asthma that is in poor control in spite of all the best medicine," said Dr. Gary Weinstein.

Follow this link for a list of local centers offering the treatment.