What Is Bronchial Thermoplasty?

Bronchial thermoplasty (also called bronchothermoplasty) is a procedure to reduce smooth muscle in the airway to minimize asthma symptoms. During an asthma attack, smooth muscle lining the airway constricts, making breathing more difficult.

During bronchial thermoplasty, the patient is sedated and a bronchoscope (a thin, flexible tube with a catheter inside) is inserted into the patient’s throat and down to the bronchial tubes. The catheter uses radiofrequency energy to heat and reduce the smooth muscle lining the bronchi. With less smooth muscle, constriction is limited and asthma symptoms are reduced.