The diagnosis is made by clinical examination of the patient when the condition is already more advanced. In milder cases, the presence of air is detected by X-ray and CT scans.
Treatment sometimes consists of watching and waiting for the body to absorb the air. In severe cases, such as Tension Pneumothorax, a needle or drain is used to remove excess air and save the patient’s life.
Some people may have other episodes of pneumothorax, and in some cases, the pleura does not heal enough to prevent further air leaks. In such cases, there is an indication for performing an intervention called Pleurodesis and resection of emphysema bubbles by Videothoracoscopy.
This surgery is performed using minimally invasive techniques. A small incision is made in the patient’s chest and a thin chamber is inserted. In another small perforation, surgical equipment is inserted. A piece of gauze is used to rub the area of the leak, starting an inflammatory process that will lead to tissue healing. For patients who have repeated episodes of pneumothorax, a special powder is used to promote healing. In this way, the lung adheres to the chest wall and the parietal pleura, preventing further lung collapse.
When emphysema bubbles are found in the lung, they are resected in the same procedure to prevent them from having air leakage again.
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