Effective October 1, 2010, code 32.27, Bronchoscopic bronchial thermoplasty, ablation of airway smooth muscle, has been created for bronchial thermoplasty. Bronchial thermoplasty is a new bronchoscopic procedure that involves the ablation of airway smooth muscle of the lung for the treatment of severe asthma that is refractory to conventional medical treatment.
Airway smooth muscle is located within the walls of the lung. Patients with asthma have significantly increased amounts of airway smooth muscle to constrict in response to external stimuli such as dust, allergens, cold air and stress. During bronchial thermoplasty, a flexible bronchoscope is introduced into the lung. A catheter delivers temperature controlled radiofrequency energy into the airways to reduce the excess airway smooth muscle that narrows in asthma patients. The bronchoscope and catheter are systematically repositioned for a maximum of 10 seconds per activation to provide consistent and thorough treatment throughout the targeted region of the lung. Reduction of the airway smooth muscle lessens the area that can constrict in response to the allergen that causes the asthma attack and breathing difficulties.
New code 32.27 Bronchoscopic bronchial thermoplasty, ablation of airway smooth muscle