Pneumothorax is air that develops between the lung and the chest wall. This can happen spontaneously where a “bleb” or small thinned out part of the lung perforates, usually after trauma to the chest or after a medical procedure such as a CT guided biopsy of a lung nodule. Patients with pneumothorax often develop shortness of breath or chest pain. The diagnosis of pneumothorax is made using a chest X-ray.
- Chest X-ray—This is performed in radiology. This study is performed to determine the amount of air between the lung and the chest wall.
Patients with small pneumothorax can be monitored over time without any intervention. Patients with symptomatic pneumothorax or large pneumothorax are treated with a chest tube to evacuate the air.
In our practice, we treat patients with repeat episodes of spontaneous pneumothorax with VATS blebectomy and pleurodesis to prevent recurrence of the episodes of pneumothorax.