Information for the public

This procedure works well for severe asthma and there are no serious concerns about its safety.

Asthma affects the small tubes (airways) that carry air in and out of the lungs. In severe asthma the lining of the airways becomes inflamed and swollen. This narrows them and makes it harder for air to pass through. Muscle tissue lining the airways may become thickened, narrowing the airways even more. In this procedure, heat is applied to the inside walls of the airways using a thin tube (catheter). This reduces the amount of muscle tissue in the walls, so there is less to contract and narrow the airway. The aim is to reduce symptoms.

The NHS website may be a good place to find out more. NICE’s information on interventional procedures guidance has more about what a procedure is and how we assess them.

Is this procedure right for me?

If you’ve been offered this procedure, your healthcare professionals should discuss with you what is involved, and tell you about the risks and benefits. They should talk with you about your options, and listen carefully to your views and concerns. Your family can be involved too, if you wish. All of this should happen before you agree (consent) to have the procedure. You should also be told how to find more information about the procedure. Read more about making decisions about your care.

Some questions to think about

  • What does the procedure involve?
  • What are the possible benefits? How likely am I to get them?
  • What are the risks or side effects? How likely are they?
  • What happens if the procedure doesn’t work or something goes wrong?
  • What happens if I don’t want the procedure? Are there other treatments available?

ISBN: 978-1-4731-3088-3

This page was last updated: 19 December 2018