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Bronchial Thermoplasty

I had a visit with my pulmonologist today and I’m being assessed for bronchial thermoplasty. There are no other pharmacological options left for me. I’m actually excited about this, but I’d like to hear from others who may have had this done  

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  • LK

    I did talk with my pulmo about this option but, for me at this point, he wanted me to try the Xolair shots.  I will be interested to hear how it works for you!

  • Dixiestix

    I have been taking Xolair for several years, but sadly, it hasn’t done the trick. I will update when I have it done. 

  • K8sMom2002

    Hey, DixieStix … hugs on the Xolair not doing the trick, and I'm really hopeful the BT will help you. 

    Some of our members have considered it, and at least one of our . 

    When will you have the procedure? Sending good your way!

  • K8sMom2002

    Sounds like the doc is dotting all i's and crossing all t's … that's good! What other things do you do to help manage your asthma? Is it allergic asthma or non-allergic?

  • Dixiestix

    It’s allergic asthma. I’ve taken allergy shots and currently taking Xolair injections. Then the usual rescue inhalers, nebs, controllers, etc. I’ve been a Guinea pig for everything new that’s come out in the last 10 years. 

  • dory2005

    Dixiestix, I hope that the BT will help you! My pulmo has discussed this as an option if the Nucala doesn't do the trick, but so far, it has helped me stay out of the hospital. I have allergic asthma as well, and I know how hard it is to avoid triggers. I've been through the allergy shots, etc.. as well, and it can be a rough road when nothing seems to help! Good luck!! 

  • K8sMom2002
    Dixiestix posted:

    It’s allergic asthma. I’ve taken allergy shots and currently taking Xolair injections. Then the usual rescue inhalers, nebs, controllers, etc. I’ve been a Guinea pig for everything new that’s come out in the last 10 years. 

    Hugs … that's been a long road! I can see why you're excited about the possibility that BT will help. It IS hard to avoid triggers, and it sounds like you have been like Lisa … really worked hard to get your asthma under control. I'm so glad your doc is exploring every option with you. 

    What all will go into the assessment?

  • Pljohns

    Dixiestix-does your insurance cover it?  The pulmo that talked to me about it said most insurances here don't.  No way could I ever foot the bill for 3 different hospital stays, including a couple of days in ICU each time.  I swear, insurances need to get on the ball and cover things-

  • Dixiestix

    I think that’s part of the assessment process. Of course, if my insurance doesn’t cover it, I wouldn’t be able to have it done. It appears tha it’s now done in outpatient surgery. They only admit if there’s complications. If I have to fight with insurance, that’s fine. It would be cheaper to have this done, than pay for inpatient care plus all the medications I’m on, including specialty drugs. 

  • K8sMom2002

    I hope that your insurance doesn't give you any problems with pre-approval!

    But if your insurance has any issues, maybe your doc can arrange a peer review. That might help get it approved.

  • Pljohns

    Dixiestix-I so hope your insurance is good about it-it's high time they cover something for those of us that need it.  I don't know if the pulmo I saw was just in a bad mood or what but she really didn't say anything good about BT and she actually does the procedure.  Keeping fingers and toes crossed that your evaluation is favorable and that it can give you some relief

  • K8sMom2002

    Dixiestix, just wondering if you'd heard anything from your doc or the insurance … fingers crossed and sending good luck your way!

  • Dixiestix

    Not yet. I’m in the middle of a flare, so they would wait for a couple of weeks until I’m better. Thanks for asking!

  • SHN2014

    Dixiestix, wishing you all the best. And I hope that you can get through your flare up soon. 

  • K8sMom2002

    Hugs, Dixiestix … flares are so not good!

    And welcome to our forums, SHN2014! Feel free to start a new topic or join in on any conversation!

  • Melissa G

    Oh Dixiestix, I hope you feel better soon! 

    Welcome SHN2014! How long have you been dealing with asthma?

  • SHN2014

    I'm at work so I don't have much time right now. I have a real introduction that I will send out soon – not quite finished with it yet. I have been dealing with asthma for six months – four months of that before I was diagnosed, and what a difficult trying time that was. I have no history of asthma until this year and I am in my late forties, so it took a while for the doctors to figure it out. Going from a relative healthy person to one that must deal with this condition on a daily basis has been very difficult for me, but these forums are helping so much. Thanks for the welcome! 

  • K8sMom2002
    SHN2014 posted:

    Going from a relative healthy person to one that must deal with this condition on a daily basis has been very difficult for me, but these forums are helping so much. Thanks for the welcome! 

    We are so glad that the forums are helping! They sure do help me … it's nice to know that I'm not alone, and I learn so much from everyone here. 

    Can't wait to read your "intro" and learn more about you — you sound like an incredibly persistent and strong person who has learned how to self-advocate!

  • Pljohns

    Shn2014-WELCOME-we're glad you found us but sorry you had a reason too!  I totally get what you've been going through-I was a healthy person until early to mid 40's and all of a sudden got this lovely disease.  I have adult onset, non allergic severe uncontrolled asthma.  Trying to figure out how to manage it daily when I'd never had to do that.  With multiple drug allergies and issues and the odd non-allergic type of asthma that I have, it's been a challenge and still is.  

    I think you will find a WONDERFUL support group here-I would never be where I am without them-so welcome!!!

  • Dixiestix

    Welcome!  I was diagnosed in my late 30’s. When I called my mom to tell her, she told me that as a child, I’d been to the doctor a lot for breathing issues.  Talk to your family to see if you have a prior history of “bronchitis” and chronic colds as a child. Sometimes, hormonal changes can trigger a re-emergence, which was my case (early perimenopause).  Then there are cases where asthma just “appears” for no reason at all.  When they figure out your triggers, then your treatment options will become more clear. (Full disclosure: I’m a retired asthma educator and a persistent severe asthmatic).  I hope you get some answers soon. Hang in there!

  • Pljohns

    For me, they finally narrowed now the final trigger as H1N1 flu when it came around the first time, followed by pneumonia, followed by infiltrate in both lungs-I was on antibiotics for almost 6 weeks, followed by whooping cough.  All of that was within 4 months and my lungs were just toast.  I’ve been allergy tested for EVERYTHING and it all comes back clean.  There is approximately 5% of asthmatics that have non allergic asthma, and I’m one of the lucky ones.

    I was hardly ever sick as a child (I’m also one of the lucky ones that have ALL of my medical records from my very first visit after I was born to now) so I’ve been able to go back and research on my own and there were very few doctor visits.  A CT did reveal a history of a fungal infection, which is common in rural Mississippi where I grew up but not sarcoidosis.  Perimenopause made my asthma much worse and now that I’m post menopausal, it got some better but not much.

    Dixiestix is exactly right-once you find triggers, it may take a few different trials of medications, but it does get a little easier.  

  • Brenda Silvia-Torma
    Dixiestix posted:

    Welcome!  I was diagnosed in my late 30’s. When I called my mom to tell her, she told me that as a child, I’d been to the doctor a lot for breathing issues.  Talk to your family to see if you have a prior history of “bronchitis” and chronic colds as a child. Sometimes, hormonal changes can trigger a re-emergence, which was my case (early perimenopause).  Then there are cases where asthma just “appears” for no reason at all.  When they figure out your triggers, then your treatment options will become more clear. (Full disclosure: I’m a retired asthma educator and a persistent severe asthmatic).  I hope you get some answers soon. Hang in there!

    Dixiestix, I had my first bout of bronchitis when I was pregnant with my daughter in 2010. In 2013, I was diagnosed with mild, intermittent asthma (triggered when I was sick with a respiratory illness). Had bronchitis a few times since 2010. Fast forward to 2018: I was diagnosed with bronchitis again and now my asthma has transformed into mild persistent (triggered by air quality). When I asked my allergist's office why now, she said that since I'm 46, it could be hormonal.  I have a feeling she's right.

  • Dixiestix
    Brenda Silvia-Torma posted:
    Dixiestix posted:

    Welcome!  I was diagnosed in my late 30’s. When I called my mom to tell her, she told me that as a child, I’d been to the doctor a lot for breathing issues.  Talk to your family to see if you have a prior history of “bronchitis” and chronic colds as a child. Sometimes, hormonal changes can trigger a re-emergence, which was my case (early perimenopause).  Then there are cases where asthma just “appears” for no reason at all.  When they figure out your triggers, then your treatment options will become more clear. (Full disclosure: I’m a retired asthma educator and a persistent severe asthmatic).  I hope you get some answers soon. Hang in there!

    Dixiestix, I had my first bout of bronchitis when I was pregnant with my daughter in 2010. In 2013, I was diagnosed with mild, intermittent asthma (triggered when I was sick with a respiratory illness). Had bronchitis a few times since 2010. Fast forward to 2018: I was diagnosed with bronchitis again and now my asthma has transformed into mild persistent (triggered by air quality). When I asked my allergist's office why now, she said that since I'm 46, it could be hormonal.  I have a feeling she's right.

    Hormones have a lot to answer for, don’t they?  😉

  • K8sMom2002

    Oh, hormones definitely DO! 

    I fit your profile pretty well, Dixiestix – lots of colds and coughs, and no clue that not everyone didn't have that tight chest or cough after exercising. I was diagnosed in my very early 30s.

    I'm really blessed that I have docs that work with me and that my asthma triggers have been fairly easy to figure out.

  • Melissa G
    Dixiestix posted:
    Hormones have a lot to answer for, don’t they?  😉

    unfortunately…..

  • K8sMom2002

    Dixiestix, what's the latest on whether your docs think bronchial thermoplasty would work for you? And if your insurance would approve it? I'm hoping you've got some news back and that your flare is a bit better!

  • Dixiestix

    No word yet, but I’m starting Nucala soon. They won’t do the Thermoplasty while I’m flaring and I’m still having symptoms. Just got a steroid shot and picked up antibiotics. 😢

  • LK

      Dixiestix,  I am so sorry you are still having problems!  That is so very frustrating, I know!  Hope the shot and antibiotics help you very quickly!  How soon do you get to start on the Nucala?

  • Dixiestix

    I think what takes the longest is the paperwork. I would imagine 3-4 weeks. I’ll still continue Xolair until then. Thanks for asking!

  • K8sMom2002

    Hugs … it must be so frustrating to still be in a holding pattern! I do hope the meds work and get the flare under control. 

    Here's hoping the paperwork won't be as stubborn as the flare!

  • Melissa G

    Dixiestix, I hope the bronchial thermoplasty gets approved and quickly! How are you doing?

  • Dixiestix

    I’m still flaring, but not as badly. I got another steroid shot and antibiotics. My assessment Is September 18th. 

  • K8sMom2002

    Was just coming to check in and see how you were doing, and I realized that it was Tuesday — is it THIS Tuesday? Today? I hope so, and I hope the assessment goes as planned!

  • Dixiestix

    Hi y’all.  My assessment went well and I’m appropriate for the procedure. The doc wants me to do a couple tests to rule out GERD causing most of the problem. They are starting the paperwork (insurance could be an issue). I guess we’ll see!

  • Melissa G

    Oh Dixiestix, that is fantastic! I hope the insurance approves the tests and the drs can figure out what is going on. Keep us updated. 

  • Dixiestix

    Hi Brenda!  Yes, I’ve had one Nucala injection. I’m still flaring a. It, so I don’t know how to tell if it works. LOL

  • K8sMom2002

    Yay! I'm so hopeful it will be helpful for you! When will you have the tests to rule out GERD? I'm hoping that the insurance approval process will go very quickly and smoothly.

    As for the Nucala … hoping that soon it will improve things … I think it takes a while, from what I've heard those of our members say.