University of Louisville Physician’s doctors, in partnership with University Hospital, have purchased bronchial thermoplasty equipment to offer this new treatment. Bronchial thermoplasty is a medication-free treatment for adults with moderate to severe persistent asthma who don’t respond to standard medical interventions.

Asthma affects up to 17 million people nationwide, and it is especially prevalent in Kentucky. There is no cure for asthma, and until recently, treatments have been limited to various medications. Bronchial thermoplasty treatment is minimally invasive and safe. The device uses radio frequency energy (heat) to clear airways in asthmatics. Studies show that patients who use this treatment have an 84 percent decrease in emergency room visits, 73 percent decrease in hospitalizations, 66 percent decrease in lost days at work and a 32 percent decrease in asthma attacks.

Tanya Wiese, an interventional pulmonologist, received special training on the device, and will serve as the lead physician performing bronchial thermoplasty treatment. Wiese will perform the treatments in the endoscopy/bronchoscopy unit at University Hospital. Patients will go for follow-up in the University Medical Associates private practice office in the UofL Health Care Outpatient Center.

“We pulmonary physicians are very excited to be able to offer this new treatment option to referring physicians and their patients,” said Rodney Folz, MD, PhD, practice chief for pulmonary, critical care and sleep disorders medicine. “We collaborate with allergists, primary care physicians and pulmonologists, all of whom take care of patients with asthma, to provide this highly specialized treatment intervention. We are pleased to be the first to provide this major medical advance to all Kentuckians.”

For more information about this new treatment, contact Lauri in UMA’s Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Disorders Medicine group at 813-6500 or 852-5841, or e-mail questions to