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What are treatment options for pneumothorax, a pleural cavity disorder?

For a small pneumothorax, no treatment may be needed as it will repair on its own. A larger pneumothorax may require the insertion of a syringe or a chest tube to draw out air. Surgery may be needed to repair a leaking lung if the pneumothorax is recurring. If surgery is not an option, the pleural cavity may be sealed using a talc mixture or drugs.

A pneumothorax, or collapsed lung, is the collection of air in the space around the lungs. This buildup of air puts pressure on the lung so it cannot expand as much as it would normally when breathing.

In less severe cases, the pneumothorax may go away with oxygen and rest. When a person is experiencing a large pneumothorax, doctors place a chest tube between the ribs in the space around the lungs to help drain the air and allow the lung to re-expand. The tube may be left in place for several days and often requires hospitalization. In select cases, doctors may need to operate to repair the leak.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.