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.

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.

Pulmonology Resources

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.

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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.