Relief From Severe Asthma

Patients who have severe asthma may get the relief they need with bronchial thermoplasty, a minimally invasive procedure that involves the delivery of controlled, therapeutic radiofrequency energy to the body's airway wall, heating the tissue and reducing the amount of smooth muscle present in the airway wall. People who take multiple asthma medications but still suffer asthma attacks and regularly miss work, school or activities due to asthma may benefit from this procedure. South Texas Health System McAllen is the first hospital in the Rio Grande Valley to offer bronchial thermoplasty for treatment of severe asthma.

How the Procedure Works

The bronchial thermoplasty treatment includes three separate bronchoscopic procedures: one for each lower lobe of the lung and another for both upper lobes. Each outpatient procedure is performed approximately three weeks apart. With the patient under sedation, thermal energy is delivered into the airways through a catheter inside a bronchoscope a thin, flexible tube-like instrument introduced through the patients nose or mouth, and into their lungs. The catheter delivers a series of 10-second temperature controlled bursts of radio frequency energy which heat the lining of the lungs to 65 degrees Celsius (149 degrees Fahrenheit). The heat destroys some of the muscle tissue which constricts during an asthma attack, helping to reduce the number and severity of asthma attacks.




  • Fewer asthma attacks
  • Fewer visits to the emergency room for respiratory symptoms
  • Fewer days lost from work or school because of asthma attacks
  • Better quality of life

Allergy Capital

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) ranked McAllen, Texas as the third most challenging place to live in the country for fall allergies in its 2016 Fall Allergy Capitals report, up from sixth place 3 years earlier. The rankings are based on pollen levels, use of over-the-counter and prescription allergy medication, and the number of Board Certified allergists in each city. Read more >

McAllen, Texas also ranked 17th in the country in the AAFA's list of the 2015 Asthma Capitals, which looks at asthma prevalence, environmental risk factors and patient medical utilization in the largest 100 cities to find the most challenging places to live with asthma. Read more >