48-Hour Bravo pH Study

This is a test that measures the pH in your esophagus and to assess whether acid is coming back into the esophagus from the stomach causing pain, nausea, heartburn, chest pain, etc. This test involves attaching a pH capsule, approximately the size of a gelcap, to your esophagus with the use of an endoscope. The capsule naturally falls off the wall of the esophagus and passes through your digestive tract and is eliminated from the body.


Clopton Clinic Pulmonary contracts with St. Bernards Medical Center to provide bronchoscopy services. Bronchoscopy is a medical procedure where a tube is inserted into the airways, usually through the nose or mouth. This allows the practitioner to examine inside a patient's airway for abnormalities such as foreign bodies, bleeding, tumors, or inflammation. The practitioner often takes samples from inside the lungs: biopsies, fluid (bronchoalveolar lavage), or endobronchial brushing. The practitioner may use either a rigid bronchoscope or flexible bronchoscope.


Gastroenterology provides colonoscopies via GI labs located at St. Bernards Medical Center, Lawrence Memorial Hospital, and Five Rivers Medical Center. Colonoscopy is the endoscopic examination of the large colon and the distal part of the small bowel with a CCD camera or a fiber optic camera on a flexible tube passed through the anus. It may provide a visual diagnosis (e.g. ulceration, polyps) and grants the opportunity for biopsy or removal of suspected lesions. A colonoscopy can remove polyps smaller than one millimeter. Once polyps are removed, they can be studied with the aid of a microscope to determine if they are precancerous or not. Colonoscopy is similar but not the same as sigmoidoscopy. The difference between colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy is related to which parts of the colon each can examine. Sigmoidoscopy allows doctors to view only the final two feet of the colon, while colonoscopy allows an examination of the entire colon, which measures four to five feet in length. Often, a sigmoidoscopy is used as a screening procedure for a full colonoscopy. Usually, some type of colon preparation, which includes a clear liquid diet and a laxative is used to cleanse your colon, so the physician is able to visualize your colon.

Dialysis Treatment

Dialysis is primarily used to provide an artificial replacement for lost kidney function (renal replacement therapy) due to renal failure.  Dialysis may be used for very sick patients who have suddenly but temporarily, lost their kidney function (acute renal failure) or for quite stable patients who have permanently lost their kidney function (stage 5 chronic kidney disease).  When healthy, the kidneys maintain the body's internal equilibrium of water and minerals (sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sulfate) and the kidneys remove from the remove from the blood the daily metabolic load of fixed hydrogen ions.  The kidneys also function as a part of the endocrine system producing erythropoietin and 1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol (calcitriol). Dialysis treatments imperfectly replace some of these functions through the diffusion (waste removal) and convection (fluid removal).

Our dialysis services are offered at the St Bernards Outpatient Dialysis Center Jonesboro, Forrest City, Marked Tree, McCrory, Newport, Paragould, Wynne, and Kennett, Missouri.

Chronic Kidney Disease Clinic services are offered in Jonesboro, Paragould, Pocahontas, and Wynne.


EGD (esophagogastroduodenoscopy or upper endoscopy) is an exam of the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum with and endoscope. It is considered a minimally invasive procedure since it does not require an incision into one of the major body cavities and does not require any significant recovery after the procedure (unless sedation or anesthesia has been used). An endoscope is a long, narrow tube with a light and a video camera. The exam can be viewed on a video screen, and the preparation usually includes nothing to eat or drink after midnight the night before the exam.


Flexible sigmoidoscopy is performed to view the lower colon. It is done using a sigmoidoscope, which is a flexible tube with a viewing lens and light. This procedure is used to screen or diagnose problems in the lower colon. Endoscopy is a minimally invasive diagnostic medical procedure that is used to assess the interior surfaces of an organ by inserting a tube into the body. The instrument may have a rigid or flexible tube and not only provide an image for visual inspection and photography, but also enable taking biopsies and retrieval of foreign objects. Endoscopy is the vehicle for minimally invasive surgery. The prep is not as extensive as a colonoscopy. It usually only requires a clear liquid diet and an enema.


ERCP (Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography) is a technique that combines the use of endoscopy and fluoroscopy to diagnose and treat certain problems of the biliary or pancreatic ductal systems. It is an x-ray examination of the bile ducts which is aided by a video endoscope. Through the endoscope, the physician can see the inside of the stomach and duodenum, and inject dyes into the ducts in the biliary tree and pancreas so they can be seen on x-rays. ERCPs also may be used to help locate pancreas problems. Your stomach must be empty to have this exam, so it is very important that you follow diet instructions prior to the exam. You will be asked to avoid blood thinning medicines prior to the procedure.

Esophageal Manometry

This is a test to evaluate the function of the esophagus. A thin tube with holes that can sense pressure is placed down the esophagus. This exam can help determine the cause of heartburn, swallowing problems and chest pain. Special instructions include nothing to eat or drink after midnight the night before the test.

Liver Biopsy

A liver biopsy is used to help physicians assess the health of the liver. During the biopsy, a needle is inserted through the skin and into the liver. A small sample of liver tissue is removed and sent to a lab to be examined. It is important to follow diet instructions prior to the exam. You will be asked to stop blood thinning medicines prior to the procedure.

Pulmonary Function Testing

Pulmonary function testing is used to measure lung capacity. This test may be used to evaluate conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Pulmonary function testing is painless, and requires approximately 5 minutes to perform. Spirometry (meaning the measuring of breath) is the most common of the Pulmonary Function Tests (PFTs), measuring lung function, specifically the measurement of the amount and/or speed of air that can be inhaled and exhaled. Spirometry is an important tool used for generating pneumotachograph to assessing conditions such as asthma, pulmonary fibrosis, and COPD.

Sleep Studies

Pulmonology also offers sleep studies at St Bernards Medical Center. Our pulmonary staff is trained to provide you with state of the art care at the St Bernards Sleep Disorders Center. Our physicians are Board Certified in Sleep Medicine. Sleep studies are tests that watch what happens to your body during sleep. The studies are done to find out what is causing your sleep problems.


Thoracentesis is an invasive procedure to remove fluid or air from the pleural space for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes. A hollow needle is carefully introduced into the thorax, after administration of a local anesthesia. If a large amount of fluid is present, then this procedure can also be used therapeutically to remove that fluid and improve patient comfort and lung function.

Flexible Sigmoidoscopy

This test is performed to view the lower colon. It is done using a sigmoid scope, which is a flexible tube with a viewing lens and light. This procedure is used to screen or diagnose problems in the lower colon. Flexible sigmoidoscopy is a minimally invasive diagnostic medical procedure that is used to assess the interior surfaces of an organ by inserting a tube into the body. The instrument may have a rigid or flexible tube and not only provide an image for visual inspection and photography, but also enable taking biopsies and retrieval of foreign objects. Flexible sigmoidoscopy is the vehicle for minimally invasive surgery. The preparation is not as extensive as a colonoscopy. It usually only requires a clear liquid diet and an enema.

Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative (CPCI)

The Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative is a multi-payer initiative which promotes the collaboration between public and private health care payers to improve primary care.  Medicare, along with commercial and state health care plans, is working with primary care practices to help deliver higher quality, better coordinated, and more patient-centered care.

Primary care is a key point of contact for patients' health care needs.  The Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative's focus is to improve care coordination, making it easier for clinicians to work together, and helping clinicians spend more time with their patients while improving quality and reducing cost.

Practices were selected through a competitive application process based on their:

  • Use of health information technology
  • Ability to demonstrate recognition of advanced primary care delivery by accreditation bodies
  • Service to patients covered by participating payers
  • Participation in practice transformation and improvement activities
  • Diversity of geography, practice size and ownership structure

How does this affect St. Bernards Clopton Clinic patients?

Better management of care for patients with high health care needs: Patients with multiple or serious medical conditions typically need more support to ensure they are getting the medical care they need.  St. Bernards Clopton Clinic has added Care Coordinators to help the physicians deliver intensive care management for patients with high risks.  By engaging patients in their care and treatment, we can work together to create a plan of care that will individually fit each patient's circumstances and values.

Improved access to care: Unfortunately, health care needs and emergencies are not restricted to office operating hours. St. Bernards Clopton Clinic has staff available to patients 24/7 with real-time access to patient data and personal health information.

Encouragement of preventative care services: Our care teams are proactively assessing patients to determine any needs they may have in order to provide appropriate and timely preventative care. 

Getting patients and their caregivers involved in their health care: We are encouraging patients and their caregivers to be more involved in their healthcare decisions by providing education and one-on-one time with Care Coordinators.

Improving the coordination of care across the medical neighborhood: Our care teams are currently working with patients, caregivers, and other health care providers involved in the patients care to ensure appropriate decisions are being made for the patient's well-being.

St. Bernards Clopton Clinic Internal Medicine Care Teams

Shelia Morgan, RN Care Coordinator
(870) 932-1198 ext 377
Physicians: Dr. Rick Tate and Dr. Mark Wood
APRN: Tammy Hawkins

Sheila Millay, RN Care Coordinator
(870) 932-1198 ext 346
Physicians: Dr. Ben Owens Jr. and Dr. David Pyle
APRN: Valari Landrum

Tami Philhours, RN Care Coordinator
(870)932-1198 ext 343
Physicians: Dr. Donald Guinn, Dr. Revel Porter, and Dr. Rebecca Osborne
APRN: Starla Emery

Natalie Engelken, RN Care Coordinator
(870) 932-1198 ext 334
Physicians; Dr. Corey Diamond and Dr. Veryl Hodges
APRN: Amanda Hendrix

Endocrine Disorders

The endocrine system is a network of glands that produce and release hormones that help control many important body functions, especially the body's ability to change calories into energy that powers cells and organs. The endocrine system influences how your heart beats, how your bones and tissues grow, even your ability to make a baby. It plays a vital role in whether or not you develop diabetes, thyroid disease, growth disorders, sexual dysfunction, and a host of other hormone-related disorders.

Causes of Endocrine Disorders

Endocrine disorders are typically grouped into two categories:

  • Endocrine disease that results when a gland produces too much or too little of an endocrine hormone, called a hormone imbalance.
  • Endocrine disease due to the development of lesions (such as nodules or tumors) in the endocrine system, which may or may not affect hormone levels.

The endocrine's feedback system helps control the balance of hormones in the bloodstream. If your body has too much or too little of a certain hormone, the feedback system signals the proper gland or glands to correct the problem. A hormone imbalance may occur if this feedback system has trouble keeping the right level of hormones in the bloodstream, or if your body doesn't clear them out of the bloodstream properly. Increased or decreased levels of endocrine hormone may be caused by:

  • A problem with the endocrine feedback system
  • Disease
  • Failure of a gland to stimulate another gland to release hormones (for example, a problem with the hypothalamus can disrupt hormone production in the pituitary gland)
  • A genetic disorder, such as multiple endocrine meoplasia (MEN) or congenital hypothyroidism
  • Infection
  • Injury to an endocrine gland
  • Tumor of an endocrine gland

Most endocrine tumors and nodules (lumps) are noncancerous. They usually do not spread to other parts of the body. However, a tumor or nodule on the gland may interfere with the gland's hormone production.

Types of Endocrine Disorders

There are many different types of endocrine disorders. Diabetes is the most common endocrine disorder diagnosed in the U.S.

Other endocrine disorders include:

  • Adrenal insufficiency. The adrenal gland releases too little of the hormone cortisol and sometimes, aldosterone. Symptoms include fatigue, stomach upset, dehydration, and skin changes. Addison's disease is a type of adrenal insufficiency.
  • Cushing's disease. Overproduction of a pituitary gland hormone leads to an overactive adrenal gland. A similar condition called Cushing's syndrome may occur in people, particularly children, who take high doses of corticosteroid medications.
  • Gigantism (acromegaly) and other growth hormone problems. If the pituitary gland produces too much growth hormone, a child's bones and body parts may grow abnormally fast. If growth hormone levels are too low, a child can stop growing in height.
  • Hyperthyroidism. The thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone, leading to weight loss, fast heart rate, sweating, and nervousness. The most common cause for an overactive thyroid is an autoimmune disorder called Grave's disease.
  • Hypothyroidism. The thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone, leading to fatigue, constipation, dry skin, and depression. The underactive gland can cause slowed development in children. Some types of hypothyroidism are present at birth.
  • Hypopituitarism. The pituitary gland releases little or no hormones. It may be caused by a number of different diseases. Women with this condition may stop getting their periods.
  • Multiple endocrine neoplasia I and II (MEN I and MEN II). These rare, genetic conditions are passed down through families. They cause tumors of the parathyroid, adrenal, and thyroid glands, leading to overproduction of hormones.  
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Overproduction of androgens interfere with the development of eggs and their release from the female ovaries. PCOS is a leading cause of infertility.
  • Precocious puberty. Abnormally early puberty that occurs when glands tell the body to release sex hormones too soon in life.

Testing for Endocrine Disorders

If you have an endocrine disorder, your doctor may refer you to a specialist called an endocrinologist. An endocrinologist is specially trained in problems with the endocrine system.

The symptoms of an endocrine disorder vary widely and depend on the specific gland involved. However, most people with endocrine disease complain of fatigue and weakness.

Blood and urine tests to check your hormone levels can help your doctors determine if you have an endocrine disorder. Imaging tests may be done to help locate or pinpoint a nodule or tumor.

Treatment of endocrine disorders can be complicated, as a change in one hormone level can throw off another. Your doctor or specialist may order routine blood work to check for problems or to determine if your medication or treatment plan needs to be adjusted.



The physicians at St. Bernards Cancer Care Hematology/Oncology diagnose, evaluate and provide treatment strategies for patients with cancer and disorders of the blood and bone marrow. Our medical oncologists and their staff of registered nurses, nurse practitioners and cancer navigator work to provide best-in-class care and treatment for patients with cancer and work collaboratively to ensure a comprehensive approach to treatment for each patient.

Full services offered at the following locations:

Clopton Clinic Hematology/Oncology
300 Carson St.
Jonesboro, AR 72401

Paragould Medical Park
4000 Lindwood Drive
Paragould, AR 72450


Your cancer care is provided by St. Bernards Clopton Clinic, a practice recognized by a national organization for high quality care for cancer. St. Bernards Clopton Clinic has been certified through the QOPI Certification Program (QCP™), an affiliate of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). By choosing a practice that is currently certified by QCP, you know that you’ve selected a practice that is committed to delivering the highest quality of cancer care to you.


Diagnostic Imaging
St. Bernards Clopton Clinic’s radiology department provides high quality digital diagnostic x-rays, which are available for immediate review by our physicians. The radiology department is staffed by registered technologist.

In-House Laboratory

St. Bernards Clopton Clinic operates a state of the art, full service laboratory. The CLIA certified laboratory performs testing in the areas of hematology, coagulation, chemistry, special chemistry, therapeutic drug monitoring, and serology. The laboratory is open 8:00am to 5:00pm Monday through Friday, and is located on the 1st floor of the 300 Carson building.


Diagnostic Imaging
St. Bernards Clopton Clinic’s radiology department provides high quality digital diagnostic x-rays, which are available for immediate review by our physicians. The radiology department is staffed by registered technologist.

Bone Densitometry
Bone Densitometry testing is a non-invasive procedure conducted in our radiology department. This test is used to evaluate a patient's risk for osteoporosis. It is also used to determine a patient's response to osteoporosis therapy. The procedure is painless and requires approximately 10 minutes to perform.

Cardiovascular Ultrasound
The cardiovascular lab is accredited by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC) and offers testing by ARDMS registered technologists in the following modalities:

  • Adult Echocardiography
  • Carotid Doppler
  • Venous Doppler

Pulmonology Resources

Services & Treatments Offered

A cancer diagnosis will take time to absorb, but you will soon need to make some decisions about your cancer treatment. St. Bernards Cancer Care Hematology/Oncology provides services for the evaluation, treatment and management of this disease. Full services are offered at both of our locations, including: 

  • Cancer Navigation
  • Chemotherapy
  • Clinical Trials
  • Genetic Testing
  • Guest Housing
  • Hormone Therapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Molecular Targeted Treatment
  • Multidisciplinary Breast Cancer Conference
  • Multidisciplinary GI Cancer Conference
  • Multidisciplinary Lung Cancer Conference
  • Nutrition
  • Pallative Care
  • Radiation Therapy
  • Survivorship

Multi-disciplinary Approach

Our Cancer Team physicians - from radiologists, pathologists, pulmonologists, gastroentrologists, surgeons, and medical and radiation oncologists - meet on a regular basis to discuss each patient’s treatment options and determine the best and most efficient care. Multi-disciplinary care has proven to improve patient outcomes, while giving the physicians a broadened knowledge base and the opportunity to draw from each other’s special training and experience. It also determines the best treatment plan tailored to individual needs resulting in greater peace of mind for the patient.

Cancer Navigation

The Cancer Navigation Team can help you by:

  • Act as a liaison between you and other team members
  • Advocating on your behalf to enhance your communication with healthcare staff and providers
  • Guiding you through the health care system
  • Helping you arrange for appropriate services so you can keep your healthcare appointments
  • Helping you arrange screening services
  • Helping you find answers to questions and concerns
  • Helping you find any financial assistance available
  • Helping you with after care planning (Survivorship)
  • Offer emotional support to you and your family
  • Providing education and information
  • Streamlining your healthcare appointments
  • Working with you to find the resources and support you need

Jana Haskins, LCSW
Cancer Care Navigator
225 E Jackson
phone: (870) 207-8275
cell: (870) 680-0437 

Additional team members:

  • Dee Collins, RNP (St. Bernards Imaging Center)
    phone 870.207.8000
    cell 870.897.6605
  • Angie Brady, LMSW (St. Bernards Cancer Care Radiation Oncology)
    phone: (870) 207-4510
    cell: (870) 897-7096

Clinical Trials

Cancer treatment has changed dramatically over the last 15 years. Thanks to research and clinical trials, we now have new drugs and new ways of using existing drugs.

St. Bernards Cancer Center is devoted to providing the most comprehensive treatment options to our patients. In keeping with this, a number of clinical trials are available for those patients who meet criteria and wish to participate. 

Patient’s participating in trials often worry that they will be guinea pigs. THIS IS NOT AT ALL TRUE! Being involved in a clinical trial is something to be proud of. You are taking part in the tremendous collective effort both nationwide and worldwide to fight cancer and increase the percentages of patients who are survivors. 

Whether or not your outcomes are directly affected, you are investing in future treatments that may benefit your children or grandchildren in years to come.

We may approach you about taking part in a clinical trial. If clinical trials are not discussed with you, please ask us if we have a trial that might help you in your personal battle with cancer. Help us help you, and numerous others like you, make a step toward survival. 


For more information, ask your physician or feel free to call our Clinical Research Coordinator, Amber Moon at 870 207-8177.

Hematology/Oncology: 870 207-8178
Radiation/Oncology: 870 207-8210


Support Groups

St. Bernards Cancer Support Group

Our support group is open to anyone who is living with cancer and cancer survivors. Joining a cancer support group can help to manage the wide range of feelings and fears that are experienced during and after treatment. This group meets the second Thursday of every month at 6:00pm. 

St. Bernards Health & Wellness
1416 East Matthews, Jonesboro AR

Contact Jana Haskins, Cancer Navigator at (870) 680-0437 for more information.
*Date and time is subject to change.

Multiple Myeloma Support Group

This group is for patients with Multiple Myeloma. This group meets the second Thursday of every month at 6:00pm.

Jonesboro First Assembly of God
1404 Stone Street
Jonesboro, AR

Contact Tanja Mead at 870-897-1089 or email.

Woman to Woman Cancer Support Group

This group meets the third Tuesday of every month at 6:30pm.

Arkansas Methodist Hospital
Professional Office Building Auditorium
900 W. Kings Hwy, Paragould AR

Contact Carrie Rowland at (870) 239-7826 for more information.
*Date and time is subject to change.

Prostate Cancer Support Group

Peer Network Ft. Smith
This group meets every Wednesday at 6:00pm.

Reynolds Cancer Support House
3324 South M Street
Ft. Smith, AR
Contact: (501) 748-1249

Peer Network Northeast Jonesboro
This group meets the first Thursday of every month at 6:00pm.

UAMS Center on Aging Northeast
303 E. Matthews
Jonesboro, AR
Contact: (501) 379-8027
Survivor-Mentors can be made available 1-800-338-1383.

Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS)

  • EUS enables the physician to obtain high-quality images of the esophagus, stomach and small intestine, as well as the pancreas, liver and gallbladder.
  • EUS makes early and accurate diagnosis of tumors easier.
  • Cysts can be drained.
  • EUS is non-surgical and minimally invasive and may help physicians with a diagnosis when other tests are inconclusive.

Esophageal Stenting

  • Stents are effective in treating cancer, perforations and leaks in the esophagus.
  • Esophageal stents help the patient swallow and drink more easily.

Gastric Pacemakers

  • A gastric pacemaker electrically stimulates the stomach to help control vomiting in patients with severe stomach disorders.
  • When implanted in the abdominal cavity, a gastric pacemaker may be a less drastic alternative to gastric bypass surgery or the Lap-band.

Hepatitis C Treatment

  • Antiviral medications help eliminate or reduce the virus in the body to undetectable levels. The physician can prescribe the correct combination and duration of medication to best treat hepatitis C.
  • Blood tests to monitor liver function will enable the doctor to evaluate whether an additional round of antiviral treatment is necessary.
  • Vaccinations against hepatitis A and B may also be recommended because these separate viruses can also cause liver damage and interfere with hepatitis C treatment.
  • Advanced liver disease diagnosis and treatment of cirrhotic patients as well as treat complications of cirrhosis.
  • Many different disorders may impact the normal functions of a healthy liver. Accurately determining the root cause of liver disease is the important first step in resolving the problem.

Healthy Living Tips

Here are some simple practices anyone can master at home to improve GI health.

  • Increase the fiber in your diet. You can add more fiber to your diet simply by eating more of your favorite fruits, vegetables and whole grains. (Just be careful not to overdo it onthe tropical fruits, which are higher in sugar.)
  • Eat moderate portions of food in a relaxed setting and in a mindful manner, chewing thoroughly.
  • Notice how certain foods make you feel. For example, if spicy dishes, fried or fatty foods, coffee, soft drinks or milk products cause any GI discomfort, eliminate the offenders from your diet.
  • Drink plenty of purified water every day – and sip, don’t gulp it.
  • Eliminate or reduce alcohol intake to levels recommended by your physician.
  • Avoid gaining weight as excess pounds may put extra pressure on the stomach area.
  • Have regular medical examinations, including colorectal cancer screenings, as recommended by your physician.
  • Reduce stress and make time for relaxation to help you deal with symptoms of GI tract disorders.
  • Consult your doctor immediately if you experience cramping, stomachaches, burning in the throat, or difficulty swallowing.

Gastroenterology Resources


St. Bernards Gastroenterology Associates
A Division of St. Bernards Clopton Clinic

Phone: (870) 336-0472
Fax: (870) 336-5320
Address: 1007 E. Matthews Jonesboro, AR 72401

Bronchial Thermoplasty

St. Bernards is currently the only hospital in Arkansas actively treating chronic severe asthma using. Bronchial Thermoplasty. Dr. Mark Sifford and Dr. Joshua Morrison, with St. Bernards Clopton Clinic are the only physicians in Arkansas treating Bronchial Thermoplasty at this time.

Bronchial Thermoplasty is an FDA-approved bronchoscopic procedure for the treatment of severe persistent asthma in individuals who are 18 years and older, whose asthma is not well controlled.

Bronchial Thermoplasty uses thermal energy to reduce the excessive airway smooth muscle responsible for airway constriction in asthma patients, thereby providing long-lasting control in adults with severe asthma.

Benefits to Patients

  • Non-drug Procedure
  • Clinically Proven
  • Safe and Effective
  • Long Lasting 

The Bronchial Thermoplasty Procedure

A full course of Bronchial Thermoplasty treatment includes three separate bronchoscopic procedures: one for the each lower lobe of the lung and another for both upper lobes. Each outpatient procedure is performed approximately three weeks apart.

While the patients are under sedation, a catheter inside a bronchoscope – a thin, flexible tube-like instrument – introduced through the patient’s nose or mouth, and into his or her lungs delivering thermal energy into the airways. The patient is monitored after the procedure and usually returns home that day.

For more information, visit

Good Candidates for Bronchial Thermoplasty

  • Adults between 18-65 years old
  • Non-smokers
  • Have severe or persistent asthma not well controlled by inhaled corticosteroids or long-acting bronchodilator medications

Temporary Side Effects of Bronchial Thermoplasty

  • Couging 
  • Weezing 
  • Shortness of Breath

Bronchial Thermoplasty Treatment Locations 

St. Bernards Clopton Clinic - Pulmonolgy 

Dr. Mark Sifford and Dr. Joshua Morrison

300 Carson
Jonesboro, AR 72401

(870) 932-1198

Bronchial Thermoplasty: FAQs

What is Bronchial Thermoplasty? 

Bronchial Thermoplasty (BT) is a safe outpatient bronchoscopy procedure that uses mild heat to reduce excessive smooth muscle in the airways, which helps reduce severe asthma attacks.

How does BT work?

People with severe asthma have an excess of smooth muscle tissue lining their airways. During an asthma attack, this muscle constricts the airways, making breathing difficult. BT reduces the amount of excess muscle and helps minimize the narrowing of your airways during an asthma attack.

What are the benefits and risks of BT?

In a clinical trial, almost 79% of patients treated with BT reported significant improvements in their asthma-related quality of life—including a reduction in asthma attacks, ER visits and hospitalizations for respiratory symptoms, and fewer days lost from work, school, and other daily activities due to asthma. As with any procedure, there are risks, and individual results may vary. The most common side effect of BT is temporary worsening of respiratory-related symptoms (within 1 to 7 days). There is a small risk (3.4%) of these symptoms requiring hospitalization.

Am I a candidate for BT?

BT delivered by the Alair™ System is approved by the FDA for the treatment of severe asthma in patients 18 years and older whose asthma is not well controlled with inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting beta-agonists such as Advair™, Symbicort™, and Dulera™. Further evaluation with Dr. Mark Sifford, who is trained in BT, will help determine whether you are a candidate who may benefit from this procedure.

What will happen during the procedure?

To ensure safety and optimal results every step of the way, BT is typically performed under moderate sedation in three separate sessions scheduled three weeks apart. Each session lasts about an hour and focuses on a different part of the lung to ensure all of the affected areas are treated. The device is introduced into your airways through a bronchoscope that is inserted into your mouth or nose, so no incision is required. After the procedure, you will be monitored for 2 to 4 hours and discharged on the same day. The treating physician will provide you with more details on what to expect during and after the procedure.

Who performs BT?

Currently Dr. Mark Sifford is the only St. Bernards physician practicing BT. St. Bernards is also the only hospital actively treating BT at the moment.

Will I be able to stop taking my asthma medications?

BT does not replace your current daily maintenance medication, but instead works with it to provide long-term stability in your asthma symptoms and lessen severe asthma attacks requiring oral steroids (prednisone). Is BT covered by insurance? Coverage policies and payment vary by payer. Your BT physician/staff will work with you to request coverage of your BT procedure. 

For more information please call the St. Bernards Healthline at (870) 207-7300. 

Orthopedic Locations

St. Bernards Orthopedic Associates, Inc.

300 Carson Street
Jonesboro, AR 72401



Walnut Ridge Specialty Clinic

1309 West Main Street
Walnut Ridge, AR 72476


Paragould Specialty Clinic

4000 Linwood Drive
Paragould, AR 72450

870-935-0519  |  800-458-5258