What are the treatment options for pneumothorax?

Updated: Apr 28, 2020
  • Author: Brian J Daley, MD, MBA, FACS, FCCP, CNSC; Chief Editor: Mary C Mancini, MD, PhD, MMM  more...
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Although there is general agreement on the management of pneumothorax, a full consensus about management of initial or recurrent pneumothorax does not exist. Rather, many clinicians use a risk stratification framework as well as other approaches for choosing among options to restore lung volume and an air-free pleural space and to prevent recurrences. [1]

The range of medical therapeutic options for pneumothorax includes the following:

  • Watchful waiting, with or without supplemental oxygen
  • Simple aspiration
  • Tube drainage, with or without medical pleurodesis

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