Green Bay (WFRV) Aurora BayCare medical center now offers a procedure called bronchial thermoplasty. The procedure helps people who have severe asthma and their medications aren't helping them.
Like Stephanie Reichart who is enjoying the simple things in life like going for a walk.
"I'm just happy. It's amazing what I can do now," said Stephanie Reichart.
A few months ago, Stephanie wouldn't have been able to do this without getting winded. She has had severe chronic asthma since childhood.
"I feel like I was dying climbing steps. And any inclines, it was hard to breathe," explained Stephanie.
And the asthma affected her everyday life.
"When it was snowing my grandkids had a sled and were riding down the hill. And I wanted to do that with them but I couldn't do that," recalled Stephanie.
Stephanie was in and out of emergency rooms. When she hit her forties the disease got worse.
"I was intubated on the life machine five times. The first time, I almost died," recalled Stephanie.
When her medications didn't help, Pulmonary Doctor Raul Mendoza from Aurora BayCare Medical Center thought Stephanie would be a good candidate for Bronchial Thermoplasty.
"This is something considered for patients with severe, persistent asthma. This is asthma that affects your daily life and doesn't improve (with medication)," explained Dr. Raul Mendoza, Pulmonary Disease, Aurora BayCare Medical Center.
The bronchoscopy procedure uses a small catheter to open up the airways.
"Once inside the bronchial tube we deploy a probe and this probe has a certain wave length, a radio frequency, just like a microwave. What that does is make the smooth muscles around the bronchial tubes loose," explained Dr. Mendoza.
Resulting in improved lung function and fewer asthma attacks, "Decreases emergency room visits and it improves quality of life," said Dr. Mendoza.
Like Stephanie, who now has the freedom to be active.
"Play with my grandkids now. I can do a lot of things now," Stephanie said happily.
The amount of medications Stephanie is on has drastically been reduced and she hasn't been to the emergency room since.
To learn more you can call Aurora BayCare at 866-938-0035 or email email@example.com <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright Copyright 2014 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.