The best treatment for a sudden and unexplained lung collapse might simply be waiting for the lungs to fix themselves.
The traditional therapy for a collapsed lung (or pneumothorax) has been surgery to re-inflate the lungs but Australian researchers say that could soon be outdated.
Bond University’s Adjunct Professor Gerben Keijzers said research showed that in most cases patients completely recovered from collapsed lungs without intervention.
He said patients who had surgery also recuperated but they were generally hospitalised for longer and were more likely to have recurrences and other complications.
Professor Keijzers said a lot of hospitals still have high rates of intervention in treating pneumothorax but he thinks that will change.
“When more clinicians realise that it works, that it’s safe, and that patients prefer it, practice will change substantially,” he said.
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