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Bronchial Thermoplasty
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An_241985 posted:
I just finished my third bronchial thermoplasty procedure a week ago. The first one was 10/11/11, second was 11/1/11, third was 12/6/11. I've always had asthma, but it was really mild until the last 1 1/2 years when we moved to the Midwest. During that time I've been sick often with coughing, wheezing, lots of mucus. From time to time I've run fevers and sometimes have ended up at the ER. Sometimes I've been housebound. I've taken lots of predisone and used a nebulizer. Also Singulair and Advair 500/50. None of this has really helped my asthma very much. My insurance approved the procedure. All three procedures have gone okay, although it's not for sissies! After all three, I needed additional prednisone to break up congestion and wheezing caused by the procedures. For the first week post-op I felt pretty bad. I think, all in all, I'm better off than when I started. I'm being told that in another couple of months, when all the swelling, etc. is gone, I'll start to really feel the good effects. Sleeping is still sometimes a problem. I'm definitely better off breathing upright than lying in bed. But that's gradually getting better. If you want to ask me anything, I'll try to check back.
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asthma01 responded:
Hello!
I am looking into this treatment currently. I would love to know how it goes for you! Could you keep me posted on your progress? Not for sissies?... is it painful?

My email address is: brad34h34@gmail.com

Maybe we can swap some stories or ideas.

Thanks!
Brad
 
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bresky replied to asthma01's response:
HI

I am currently being referred for this procedure. It sounds horrible I am not sure I am looking forward to it, but if it helps then it is worth it.

Bre
 
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lmski replied to asthma01's response:
Meant to get back to you sooner, Brad. I'm now three weeks after my last procedure. I'm doing pretty well. Generally, I feel better than before I started the whole bronchial thermoplasty process. I still have some coughing--that was my major complaint/symptom of my asthma. Sometimes I just cough a couple of times and it's over. Sometimes I have a real coughing fit, but those are getting fewer and fewer. I don't have any wheezing or shortness of breath, although I'm not ready to run a race or anything. You asked about pain. I didn't have any pain. They didn't start the procedure until after I was asleep. If you're okay with getting blood drawn and having an IV, well, that's all the pain I had. The "not for sissies" part referred to the coughing and wheezing afterwards, which is normal, I think, with this procedure. Plus, after general anesthesia, I think you feel a bit tired or "off" for a while. OH AND I FORGOT THIS--A few days ago I got a letter from my Blue Cross/Blue Shield "friends" which said that they had approved my BT procedure "by mistake." Because it was their fault and I had already had the procedures, they said they would go ahead and pay for it, thank God. (My pulmonologist's office said they usually approve the procedure after it's been appealed a couple of times.) So far, I'm glad I had the procedures. Let me know if you have any more questions. Good luck to you. I hope this answers Bresky's questions, too.
 
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lmski replied to bresky's response:
Hello, Bre. I just wrote a reply to Brad (see above) which I hope addresses your questions. If not let me know. Good luck to you. Louise
 
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bresky replied to lmski's response:
Hey LMSki

Thank you yeah my dr is hesitant to send me. My last 3 weeks I have been semi controlled, so she is hoping I am on the right mix of medication. She says the more she reads about the worse it sounds and couldn't imagine going through it. I see her every 4 weeks to monitor my asthma and if I get worse again she will send me. I can handle the pain the coughing and wheezing can't be worse then what I go through now hopefully.
Thanks again
bre
 
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lmski replied to bresky's response:
Another week has gone by so I'm a month post-procedure. I'm doing well and coughing a lot less than before. I'm glad I did this. I think the recovery is a "two steps forward, one step back" deal. It just takes time, I think. I have an appointment with my pulmonologist next week.
 
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bresky replied to lmski's response:
Hey LMSki

Wondering how things are going for you now that it has been 4 months post. I still haven't gone we keep talking about it every time I see her but because it is a relatively new procedure in Canada she hasn't been able to find a doctor to except me without doing a study and she already has me enrolled in one she is doing which is treatment of antibiotics in asthma, hopefully soon.
Was the procedure worth it? I so badly would love to get back to what I used to be doing before it turned so bad,
Bre
 
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jake320 replied to bresky's response:
hi there - i'm also interested in knowing how your treatment has been, given it's been 9 months since you took it. Your inputs will greatly benefit the community here

Thanks
 
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jfine90 responded:
hey An_241985...........and all others on this discussion. I have just read ur posts trying to get a little more insight on this procedure myself. I'm 22 years old and it was two months ago that I had my 5th Intibation for my Severe Asthma. I was in the coma for about 4 days while they tried to bring me back. The specialists said that it took everything they had to get my lungs to work on their own. 2 years ago, talks about doing a lung transplant were already in place. But this time, when I woke up......my Dr. came in with a giant smile on his face and said there is another treatment that we can try! It was like music to my ears. He had explained what he had learned about it to me and after a few days I was releases and went to work on getting this done. It has taken a lot, between insurance, the fundraisers and I have been in the hospital 3 times since the last tubing. But I fly to St. Joseph's Medical Sunday for my first appointment. But I live in AK so I have just praying that will get tings going as fast as possible because to go back and forth from here is very hard. Plus time isn't on my side anymore as my lungs have become pretty weak requiring me to be on O2 for 24hrs of the day. I have high hopes in this procedure like many of you have as well so any advice would be greatly appreciated because I'm pretty scared right now and it has been a rough trial for me in this part of my life.
 
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ktlooking4support responded:
Hi, I know it has been awhile since your Bronchial Thermoplasty? can you give me more details on you recovery- I know it is no picnic after: I had quite a time after the bronocospy & biospy... just needed some information..
thank you.. kt.
 
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Cyberperro responded:
Just had my third procedure done a week; yep no picnic for sure for each procedure. Recovery back to normal breathing (which of course is possible still only by asthma meds) took about 2 weeks. then when you finally get back to your normal baseline, it's already time for the next procedure... And of course each different procedure had its ups and downs..different anesthesiologists each, so of course each was using not the same kind/amount of meds..each having a different affect...third procedure caused a fever, which I'm almost over with now. But I'm optimistic on the benefits of this venture
 
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NessaK replied to Cyberperro's response:
I just completed my third procedure Friday, August 23rd. I am 38yrs old, female and have had moderate/severe asthma since the age of 3. I am already seeing benefits. I am not waking up at night needing my rescue inhaler. I have had the same side effects, coughing, mucus etc but I realize it will go away in a few months.
My insurance covered the procedure after one appeal. I am so glad I was able to do this procedure and look forward to reporting back to you my progress.
 
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galaaday responded:
I had my 3rd BT yesterday. It took most of the time between each procedure to get over the inflammation. Needed additional steroids after the first.
Took longer to recover from the anesthesia with this last procedure. More wheezing today than before, but tightness is not so bad. I don't feel especially good right now, but get far sicker with a common cold.

My doctor said the worst outcome he has encountered was one patient who claimed no results (no decline either), but other patients have had very good results. Given these odds I felt BT was worth a try.

Coughing up a little blood with the mucus, but this may be due to the biopsies, as I am part of a study for this procedure.

I don't have generally have "asthma attacks". I have been going through life with continuous tightness, some wheezing, which has never been well controlled by any/all the current asthma drugs. I am not an allergic asthmatic, I have severe reactions to smoke, chemical fumes, preservatives, MSG (and related additives), sulfiting agents, and some medications including some asthma drugs.
 
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galaaday replied to galaaday's response:
The only pain was from the IV sights as I always bruise (dramatically) due to long term oral steroid use. I also had a slight, but nagging headache after the 3rd procedure, likely due the anesthesia.


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