Tuality doctor performs metro area’s first bronchial thermoplasty

March 19, 2013

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

Dr. Srinivas Mummadi, a pulmonary disease specialist at Tuality Healthcare, performed a breakthrough lung procedure on a 58-year-old Beaverton woman patient who suffers from severe asthma on Friday at Tuality Community Hospital in Hillsboro.

The 45-minute procedure, called a bronchial thermoplasty, should help Patricia Young regain significant quality of life after years of suffering from severe asthma.

Bronchial thermoplasty is a minimally-invasive procedure that uses a bronchoscope to deliver thermal energy via radio waves to the airway wall in the lungs. The radio waves reduce airway smooth muscle, reducing the airway’s ability to constrict, which occurs during frequent asthma attacks.

“I just want to be able to get up in the morning and go outside and take a walk,” Young said prior to the procedure. “Long-term, I just want to have a better quality of life. I really do.”

Traditional asthma treatments of inhaled corticosteroids, long acting inhalers and nebulized medications have not given Young much relief from her severe asthma.

Dr. Mummadi deemed Friday’s procedure, the first of three planned procedures and also the first one to be performed in Oregon, uncomplicated and a success. The final outcome won’t be known until the three procedures are completed, he said.

“This is a very exciting development in terms of treatment solutions for severe persistent asthmatics,” Dr. Mummadi said. "Basically, this disease controls the patients’ lives in terms of emergency room visits, frequent need for steroids and complications from steroids. This is a non-pharmaceutical intervention that plans to control their asthma in such a way that they can start enjoying their life."

Dr. Mummadi was assisted in the procedure by Dr. Peter Hahn, his senior colleague in the Tuality Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine Clinic. Dr. Mummadi joined Tuality Healthcare in 2011 from the Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Hahn joined Tuality in 2010 from the Mayo Clinic.

The procedure is performed in three outpatient visits, each treating a different area of the lungs and scheduled three weeks apart. Data from surgery equipment provider Boston Scientific shows that 79 percent of asthma patients who were treated with bronchial thermoplasty saw significant improvements in asthma-related quality-of-life measures.

“Asthma is bad, it makes you feel bad,” said Young. “It slows your metabolism and does not make you want to get up and do anything for fear of having an attack. Tuality’s been good to me and I trust the doctors that I see that are associated with Tuality.”