HackensackUMC Offers Revolutionary Asthma Treatment

HackensackUMC is proud to offer an innovative medical procedure designed to treat severe asthma.  Bronchial Thermoplasty (BT) is delivered by the Alair® System, the first device-based asthma treatment approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Alair® System provides a unique and added treatment modality for patients with severe asthma who are not well controlled with inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting beta-agonists.

Bronchial Thermoplasty (BT) is a procedure typically performed under moderate sedation on an outpatient basis.  During the procedure, therapeutic radiofrequency/thermal energy is applied to reduce the excessive smooth muscle tissue in the airways to help minimize airway constriction, making asthma attacks less frequent and less severe.

Two patients have been fully treated at HackensackUMC by Hormoz Ashtyani, M.D., division chief, Pulmonary Diseases, HackensackUMC and Melvin Polkow, M.D., co-director, Pulmonary Critical Care Section, HackensackUMC. A third patient has completed two of the three treatments.  Additional patients are currently awaiting approval for the procedure.

“We are pleased to offer this procedure to our adult patients who suffer from severe asthma,” said Hormoz Ashtyani, M.D., division chief, Pulmonary Diseases, HackensackUMC. “Bronchial thermoplasty is a promising tool in the limited arsenal of physicians treating patients with severe asthma that can help reduce the frequency of asthma attacks, emergency room visits and hospitalizations for respiratory symptoms and days missed from work due to symptoms of asthma.”

“This procedure can improve the quality of life for those suffering from this chronic condition,” said Melvin Polkow, M.D., senior attending physician, Pulmonary Diseases Division, HackensackUMC. “Unlike conventional treatments, Bronchial Thermoplasty provides a long-term benefit to patients suffering from severe asthma without the use of medications.”

HackensackUMC is one of only 300 hospitals nationwide who are using the Bronchial Thermoplasty (BT) system to treat patients with severe asthma.  In a recent clinical trial, patients with severe asthma treated with Bronchial Thermoplasty show a 32 percent decrease in severe asthma exacerbations, and 84 percent reduction in emergency care for respiratory symptoms and 79 percent of patients saw a significant improvement in their asthma-related quality of life.

Asthma is one of the most common and costly diseases in the world. The prevalence of asthma has grown in recent decades, and there is no cure. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), more than 20 million Americans have asthma, and managing asthma consumes over $18 billion of healthcare resources each year. In the U.S. each year, asthma attacks result in approximately 10 million outpatient visits, two million emergency rooms visits, 500,000 hospitalizations, and 4,000 deaths.

About Hackensack University Medical Center

HackensackUMC, a nonprofit teaching and research hospital located in Bergen County, NJ, is the largest provider of inpatient and outpatient services in the state. Founded in 1888 as the county’s first hospital, it is the flagship hospital of Hackensack University Health Network, one of the largest health networks in the state comprised of 1,140 beds, nearly 10,000 employees and 2,200 credentialed physicians. HackensackUMC was listed as the number one hospital in New Jersey and one of the top three New York metro area hospitals in the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospital rankings for 2013-14. It also received 10 national rankings in: Cancer; Cardiology & Heart Surgery; Ear, Nose & Throat; Gastroenterology & GI Surgery; Geriatrics; Neurology & Neurosurgery; Orthopedics; Pulmonology; Urology; and the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital ranked as one of the Top 50 Best Children’s Hospitals for Neurology and Neurosurgery in the 2013-14 Best Children’s Hospitals list. The children’s hospital is housed with the Donna A. Sanzari Women’s Hospital in the Sarkis and Siran Gabrellian Women’s and Children’s Pavilion, which was designed with The Deirdre Imus Environmental Center using the highest “green building” standards, and was included on the Green Guide’s list of Top 10 Green Hospitals in the U.S. HackensackUMC is among Healthgrades® America’s Best 100 Hospitals in five different areas – more than any other hospital in the state, is one of Healthgrades America's 50 Best Hospitals™ for seven years in a row, and received the Healthgrades Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence™ 12 years in a row. The medical center has also been named a Leapfrog Top Hospital, and received 22 Gold Seals of Approval™ by the Joint Commission – more than any other hospital in the country. It was the first hospital in New Jersey and second in the nation to become a Magnet® recognized hospital for nursing excellence; receiving its fifth consecutive designation in 2014. HackensackUMC is the Hometown Hospital of the New York Giants and the New York Red Bulls, and remains committed to its community through fundraising and community events. To learn more, visit: www.HackensackUMC.org.   

About Bronchial Thermoplasty Delivered by the Alair® System

Bronchial thermoplasty is a bronchoscopic procedure for the treatment of severe persistent asthma in patients 18 years and older whose asthma is not well controlled with inhaled corticosteroids and long acting beta agonists. Bronchial thermoplasty is performed through the working channel of a standard flexible bronchoscope that is introduced through a patient’s nose or mouth, and into their lungs. The tip of the small diameter Alair catheter is expanded to contact the walls of targeted airways. Controlled thermal energy is then delivered to the airway walls to reduce the presence of excess airway smooth muscle that narrows the airways in patients with asthma. The minimally invasive procedure, like many other flexible endoscopy procedures, is done under moderate sedation, and the patient returns home the same day. To learn more, visit:www.BTforAsthma.com.  




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