Salem Health announces new procedure for patients with severe asthma

May 16, 2018

The ground-breaking technique, called bronchial thermoplasty, is a safe, minimally invasive, outpatient procedure designed to help patients breathe better.

“Part of our goal is to help people receive care closer to home, and we’re excited to offer this new procedure to our community,” said Kristen Myers, director of surgical services at Salem Health. “We know it will significantly increase the quality of life for these patients.”

Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, BT reduces asthma attacks by reducing smooth muscle in the airway with a catheter. With less smooth muscle, the airway constricts less, and breathing is easier.web-Lung with BT catheter illustration

BT involves three separate visits performed at least three weeks apart. Under anesthesia, a lighted catheter applies heat to the smooth muscle in the bronchial tubes.

Fewer asthma attacks means patients won’t need the usual inhalers or medications — and can avoid their side effects. Good candidates for BT are adults who are over the age of 18 years old, have not smoked in at least a year and who have severe or persistent asthma not controlled by inhalers or medications.

Patients are monitored after the procedure and usually go home the same day or early the next day. Noted side effects have been coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath.

Salem Hospital is the only facility offering bronchial thermoplasty in the Mid-Willamette Valley. For more information, contact your primary care doctor or visit

About Salem Health: Salem Health offers exceptional care to people in and around Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley. It comprises hospitals in Salem and Dallas, a medical group of primary and specialty care providers, plus other affiliated services. Visit them at; “Like” them on; follow them on Twitter: @salemhealth; and view them at

Salem Health