Collapsed Lung (cont.)
Collapsed Lung Medical Treatment
- A tension pneumothorax is treated with emergency
removal of air under pressure, by inserting a needle attached to a syringe
into the chest cavity. If needle decompression is performed before the person
gets to the emergency department, transport to the nearest hospital is necessary.
- Definitive treatment involves placing a plastic tube
("chest tube") within the chest cavity, through a small incision near the armpit, under suction and water seal. This chest tube may need to stay in place for a few days before it can be removed.
- A simple pneumothorax often is treated in a similar fashion to the tension pneumothorax with a chest tube and admission to the hospital.
- If the simple pneumothorax is small, and not expanding, the doctor may try various inhalation techniques with 100% oxygen to cause spontaneous re-expansion of the
collapsed lung segment.
- A small catheter can be placed in the chest and the air removed via suction techniques with a syringe and a 3-way stopcock.
- After multiple collapsed lungs or persistent
collapse, chemical or surgical adhesion of the lung to the chest wall (called
pleurodesis) may be necessary and is performed by a pulmonary specialist.
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