Effective new therapies have made relief possible for people with especially severe allergy symptoms. Allergists in the Sutter Health network stay current on the latest research in the field and incorporate emerging strategies into their practices whenever possible. Here are two exciting advances.
Sutter Health was among the first health systems in the nation to offer this technologically advanced surgical procedure. Designed for adult patients whose severe asthma does not respond to medicine, bronchial thermoplasty uses controlled thermal energy to reduce the smooth muscle in the airway. This prevents the airways from constricting, lowering the frequency of asthma attacks.
Bronchial thermoplasty is a minimally invasive procedure performed under light anesthesia in three sessions a few weeks apart. Most patients return home the same day of the surgery. Patients typically report a higher quality of life with fewer asthma symptoms, emergency room visits and work or school absences.
This therapy is used to temporarily prevent an allergic response to a drug. This might be necessary in cases where a patient has shown a previous allergic reaction to a drug, but the drug is necessary for his or her treatment (for instance, an essential antibiotic for a severely infected patient, or a type of chemotherapy for a cancer patient).
During desensitization, the patient stays at the hospital to allow for constant monitoring. The clinician will very gradually introduce the drug in small doses, at fixed time intervals, until the full therapeutic dose has been given. If the initial procedure goes well, future treatments can occur in an outpatient facility.