New treatment uses heat to open airways

New treatment uses heat to open airways
Photo provided by Boston Scientific via NBC

POSTED: Saturday, April 27, 2013 - 7:00am

UPDATED: Saturday, April 27, 2013 - 7:04am

A new procedure is offering significant relief to asthma sufferers.

Thirty million people in the United States have asthma, but in some cases it is so severe that it can be difficult to control with medications.

The new procedure, bronchial thermoplasty, is being offered at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview.

Pulmonologist, Dr. H. Erhan Dincer, performs the procedure using a device made by Boston Scientific.

"By using the bronchoscope, we go through their airways and apply heat to their airways and we aim to shrink the smooth muscle around the airways," Dincer said.

Sections of smooth muscle inside the airways are heated to about 150 degrees, 10 seconds at a time.

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