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American Lung Association and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Launch Awareness Campaign for Rare Lung Condition

Tracheobronchomalacia (TBM) causes the airways to weaken and collapse

(February 7, 2018) -

For more information please contact:

Jennifer Solomon
[email protected]
(516) 680-8927

The American Lung Association today announced that it is collaborating with the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) to raise awareness about Tracheobronchomalacia (TBM), a rare condition that causes the airways to weaken and collapse.  People with TBM often suffer from a relentless cough or severe shortness of breath for months or even years due to misdiagnoses, as the symptoms are similar to those seen in more common disorders such as asthma, COPD, and emphysema.

“TBM can be a very debilitating disease – and it’s often made worse when a patient’s care team is unable to make a definitive diagnosis,” said Jeff Seyler, Executive Vice President of the American Lung Association, Northeast Region.   “We are excited to work with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, as the leading experts on this condition, to educate more medical professionals about its causes, symptoms and treatments, and to create a clearer path to wellness for those who are suffering from it.”

“We’ve developed a clinical program that has become a national leader in TBM care and outcomes,” said Sidhu Gangadharan, MD, Chief of Thoracic Surgery and Interventional Pulmonology at BIDMC.  “The Lung Association will help us reach and educate other hospitals and doctors, as well as those who are enduring the symptoms of undiagnosed TBM and looking for answers.”

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center’s TBM Program consists of a multidisciplinary team of experts—radiologists, otorhinolaryngologists, interventional pulmonologists, thoracic surgeons—who collaborate closely in diagnosis and care. They evaluate and treat more adult patients with TBM than anywhere else in the United States. 

Sandra Rocha, a patient treated at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, was coughing for decades before she was properly diagnosed with TBM.  She received a stent from the BIDMC team and eventually underwent a tracheobronchoplasty, a six-hour surgical procedure that offers permanent relief.  Her story can be found here.

Sandra, as well as BIDMC’s medical experts and Lung Association representatives, are available for interview.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center | Jacqueline Mitchell
617-667-7306 | [email protected]



About the American Lung Association

The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit:

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