6 News is on your side with a
breakthrough treatment for severe asthma that doesn’t involve drugs, and an
Indiana doctor is one of only three in the nation performing the new FDA
approved procedure. 6 News reporter Stacia Matthews with the story: Most patients dread surgery, but
not Ruth Schroer. “So you’re actually looking forward to the surgery?” “Yeah. It’s frightening.” But not as frightening as asthma.
“You’re suffering for air.” When anti-inflammatory medicines didn’t work,
she took steroids and developed diabetes. “Did you gain weight?” “Yes.” “Oh yes. Probably sixty or seventy pounds.” “From just steroids.” “And they don’t work?” “No, and they don’t really work.” That’s when Ruth’s Doctor tried a new approach: Bronchial Thermoplasty. It’s very effective
at preventing the spasm of the airway that occurs during asthma attacks. Here’s how: A tiny tube is inserted through Ruth’s mouth and into her lungs. The tip expands, delivering thermal energy to
shrink excess smooth muscle, that constricts the airways. The procedure takes about
an hour and patients go home the same day. Dr. David Wilson with Columbus Regional Hospital was the first in Indiana to offer it. “It is exciting and I
think it fills a great treatment niche for those patients who’ve suffered
way too long with missed work, school, nighttime awakenings, all of those kind of symptoms that really put a misery factor into their quality of life. This is the third of three treatments for Ruth, enough to reduce her attacks, and need
for steroids. “My goal is to get off of all the steroids, because I’ve been on steroids practically for the last six years. To get off of them, then maybe I can get my diabetes back in control.” And once again enjoy the things that used to take her breath away. Stacia Matthews, Channel 6 News. Bronchial Thermoplasty is FDA approved for patients 18 and older.