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Another first for Lehigh physician

By Staff | Dec 12, 2012

Alaa El-Gendy

Dr. Alaa El-Gendy, the owner of Florida Lung & Sleep Associates in Lehigh, has become a leader in performing new practices for his patients and now he has become the only physician in Southwest Florida to perform a new procedure called Bronchial Thermoplasty (BT). In the past he has been the first physician to perform other treatments that are beneficial to his patients.

“For those who have severe asthma, this treatment is a real breakthrough,” El-Gendy said today.

“The treatment is a new option to treat severe asthmatics. This treatment is an outpatient procedure that reduces excessive airway smooth muscle, decreasing the ability of the airways to constrict during an asthma attack.”

This is how the new procedure is performed in layman’s terms.

“I am able to accomplish this by threading a small catheter through a bronchoscopy into the trachea (wind pipe). Once in place, Bronchial Thermoplasty delivers a form of thermal (heat) energy to the airway wall.

MEL TOADVINE Dr. Alaa El-Gendy stands in front of his offices at 2625 Lee Blvd. in Lehigh Acres.

“The procedure is completed in three separate sessions, each targeting different areas of the lungs. The sessions are scheduled approximately three weeks apart to allow for adequate recovery time. The procedure is completed at the Fort Myers Lee Memorial Health System,” El-Gendy said.

The first such procedure performed by El-Gendy was on Nov. 28. He says this procedure shows great potential in helping those individuals with asthma who are unable to find relief in other treatment options.

“With this new procedure, we are able to greatly enhance the quality of life of our patients, and even save lives,” El-Gendy said.

There are more than 22 million Americans who suffer from asthma and for some, the disease can be easily managed with an inhaler and other medications, but for many, it is a debilitating, life-altering (and sometimes life-threatening) condition that results in 1.8 million emergency room visits with a half million hospitalizations and 4,000 deaths every year.

El-Gendy says the new procedure Bronchial Thermoplasty reduces the frequency of exacerbation of asthma symptoms (asthma attacks), as well as the number of ER visits related to respiratory incidents.

PHOTO SPECIAL TO THE BREEZE The bronchial thermoplasty procedure uses energy to reduce the airway's ability to constrict.

Clinical studies, done by Boston Scientific, have shown that bronchial thermoplasty improved asthma-related quality of life out to a year.

“Post treatment, severe asthmatic patients experienced the benefits of an 84 percent reduction in emergency room visits for respiratory symptoms, a 73 percent reduction in hospitalizations for respiratory symptoms, a 66 percent reduction in days lost from work, school, or other daily activities due to asthma symptoms, and a 32 percent reduction in asthma attacks,” El-Gendy said.

The doctor said he believes this procedure is also expected to complement asthma maintenance medications, providing long-lasting benefits to improve the individual’s quality of life.

El-Gendy says you may be a candidate for Bronchial Thermoplasty if you are 18 years of age or older and suffer from asthma that is not well controlled despite the use of inhaled corticosteroids and/or long-acting bronchodilators.

Like El-Gendy said, the procedures he does are at Lee Memorial Health System which is a public health care system with four acute care hospitals, two specialty hospitals and other healthcare facilities and services, which include a home health agency, a nursing home, outpatient treatment and diagnostic centers, and physician offices.

El-Gendy’s practice, Florida Lung & Sleep Associates, was established in Lehigh and is considered the leading independent community provider of pulmonary and sleep services since 2002. El-Gendy says Florida Lung & Sleep Associates is committed to providing premier, quality, and cost-effective diagnostic and therapeutic services to its patients.

The medical offices are located at 2625 Lee Blvd., adjacent to the Lehigh Acres Walmart.