Friday, August 31, 2012
Medical Reports: Breath of Life
There is new help for people living with severe asthma. Most people can manage their symptoms with medication, but some can't. 7's Diana Diaz shows us how a new procedure is giving patients the Breath of Life.
WSVN - - Rick Volk has suffered from severe asthma since he was 22-years-old and he will be the first to tell you asthma was sucking the life out of him.
Rick Volk: "It ruined my life. I had no social life. I had no business life. My life revolved around taking care of my asthma. I had to move out, where I was living in Boca because I couldn't make it up the stairs."
Daily life for Rick was taking 21 different kinds of medications.
Rick Volk: "You're taking steroids, you're taking nebulizer machine treatment your rescue inhalers. I became diabetic from being on the steroids for so long."
But the life-threatening asthma attacks just kept coming.
Rick Volk: "Last year being admitted to the hospital 22 times, is unheard of for an asthmatic."
Rick finally found some hope when he heard about a new procedure called Bronchial Thermoplasty. Only a few doctors in South Slorida are doing this breakthrough procedure.
Dr. Rodney Benjamin-Pulmonologist-South Miami Hospital: "This is one of the new avenues that you can take the really severe asthmatics and restore their quality of life."
Doctors insert a camera down the throat into the lungs. Then this small device uses heat to force and keep open individual airways.
Dr. Rodney Benjamin: "It applies thermal energy to the airways. It discourages the airways from narrowing so people can breathe properly."
Patients will need three treatments but the beauty is doctors think once it's done the results could last forever.
Dr. Rodney Benjamin: "You're going to need your inhalers, but you're not going to be sick as much and you're not going to need the really strong medicines."
Rick says the procedure immediately breathed new life into him.
Rick Volk: "Right after the first procedure I felt an immediate difference in my energy, my ability breathe. I can go for walks, I can climb a flight of stairs."
"I went back to work two weeks ago, I feel like a human being again. It's all good."
Diana Diaz: "Right now only a few doctors at South Miami and Baptist Hospital are trained to perform this procedure."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Rodney Benjamin, MD & Jacky Blank, MD
(786) 662-8400 South Miami Hospital
7330 SW 62 Place
Miami, FL - 33143
Raul R. Valor, MD
(305) 661-9404 Baptist Hospital of Miami
7000 SW62 Ave
South Miami, FL - 33143