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News Suffering from severe asthma? Breathe easier with Bronchial Thermoplasty at SSM Health Good Samaritan Hospital

Suffering from severe asthma? Breathe easier with Bronchial Thermoplasty at SSM Health Good Samaritan Hospital

Mt. Vernon,

MT. VERNON, IL (September 13, 2016) – SSM Health Good Samaritan Hospital – Mt. Vernon announced they are now offering an innovative procedure called bronchial thermoplasty (BT) for the treatment of severe asthma.  The procedure is being performed by both Murali Kondapaneni, MD and Naga Sirikonda, MD, pulmonologists skilled in bronchoscopy and specially trained to perform BT.  For an estimated 2 million adults with severe asthma who continue to have asthma-related symptoms despite standard of care medications, BT is a new treatment option – and now it's available in Mt. Vernon.

"I've seen Bronchial Thermoplasty improve control of asthma and quality of life in asthmatic patients", states Murali Kondapaneni, MD, one of the two SSM Health Medical Group pulmonologists performing BT at SSM Health Good Samaritan Hospital in Mt. Vernon.  "It is clinically proven to reduce asthma attacks with a good long term safety profile in clinical trials.  With decreased  asthma attacks, less emergency room visits and few absents from work, school and daily activities, our patients with severe asthma will benefit significantly from this procedure," continues Kondapaneni. 

Bronchial thermoplasty is an outpatient procedure that treats severe asthma with an innovative approach.  The lungs consist of multiple airway passages that are surrounded by airway smooth muscle.  For people with asthma, this airway smooth muscle is more susceptible to triggers and irritants that can cause it to constrict and reduce the amount of air that flows through the lungs.  BT uses a small catheter to deliver controlled energy to the airways of the lung to reduce the amount of excessive airway smooth muscle.  This reduction decreases the muscle's ability to constrict the airways, resulting in a decreased frequency and severity of asthma attacks.

"This is first and only procedural treatment offered for severe asthma patients. Patients tolerate the procedure quite well as there is no incision – a scope is inserted through the nose or mouth and patients are under moderate sedation," said Naga Sirikonda, MD SSM Health Medical Group pulmonologist performing BT. "After treatment, our patients will be able to return to their regular physician or pulmonologist to continue their routine health and asthma management. The treatment has been very successful and most of the patients will have improved symptoms and quality of life," says Sirikonda.

Since the procedure is routinely performed under moderate sedation, patients go home the same day.  To treat the entire lung, the complete BT procedure is performed in 3 separate outpatient treatment sessions, each treating a different area of the lung and scheduled approximately 3 weeks apart.

"This treatment isn't for everyone.  BT is indicated for those with moderate and severe persistent asthma, are over the age of 18, and who are not well controlled with traditional therapies." states Kondapaneni. BT is approved by the FDA for adults with severe asthma. 

As with any procedure, there are risks, including a temporary increase and worsening of respiratory-related symptoms immediately after the procedure that could require hospitalization.  Please talk to your physician to determine whether BT is right for you.  You may also need to contact your medical insurance provider to confirm reimbursement for this procedure.

To learn more about asthma, please go to  To learn more about bronchial thermoplasty, contact doctors Kondapaneni or Sirikonda at 618.242.8900.


About SSM Health Good Samaritan Hospital – Mt. Vernon

SSM Health ( is a Catholic, not-for-profit health system serving the comprehensive health needs of communities across the Midwest through one of the largest integrated delivery systems in the nation.

SSM Health Good Samaritan Hospital – Mt. Vernon, operating in partnership with the Felician Sisters, is a 134-bed hospital with the only open heart surgery program in the region and a pediatric emergency and NICU telemedicine program in conjunction with the physicians at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital. In 2016 was named a BEST HOSPITAL by US News and World Report for treatment of congestive heart failure.  In recent years, Healthgrades has presented SSM Health Good Samaritan Hospital with the Patient Safety Excellence Award, Outstanding Patient Experience Award, Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence – top 5% in Nation.

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