New Mexico ranks high when it comes to the number of people with asthma. A new procedure is now being offered in New Mexico to help some of the most severe cases. Action Seven News reporter Amber Lee shows us this unique treatment.
It’s a device that has improved Lee Trimmer’s life. “I have not had any asthma attacks since the procedure and I’m very excited about it.” Dr. Jeffrey Dorf is the only doctor in New Mexico using a technique called Bronchial Thermoplasty. Dr. Dorf says he looked into the treatment after many of his patients didn’t respond to asthma medication. "It's very frustrating to see these patients when they are in the emergency rooms a lot. They're missing school and work. They just don't feel well." This past spring Dr. Dorf and Lovelace Women’s Hospital brought this outpatient procedure to New Mexico."We will open the catheter and the prongs will come out and use radio frequency waves, the radio frequency waves cause heat to be generated and will decrease the size of the smooth airway muscle and sometimes even destroy it." Asthma causes the airways of the lung to swell and narrow. That causes wheezing, tightness of the chest and coughing. By using this gadget and a catheter Dr. Dorf can treat asthma patients at the same source, right in their lungs. For Lee it has made a world of difference. “I breathe so much better. I never realized before my baseline breathing was so difficult" The treatment is performed in three sessions. Dr. Dorf says it doesn’t eliminate asthma symptoms but it does help control them. Amber Lee, KOAT-TV.