When is bullectomy indicated?

Updated: Oct 23, 2020
  • Author: Neerja Gulati, MD; Chief Editor: Dale K Mueller, MD  more...
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Patient selection is one of the most important aspects of successful bullectomy. [1]  The most common indications for bullectomy include the following [3, 4, 5] :

  • Severe dyspnea due to a giant bulla (ie, one occupying 30% or more of the hemithorax)
  • Spontaneous secondary pneumothorax
  • Pain
  • Repeated infection
  • Hemoptysis

Some authors also recommend surgery for bullae that are increasing in size on serial chest radiographs, as well as lesions occupying more than 50% of the hemithorax, even if the patient is asymptomatic. [4, 5]

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