Surgical Options

Surgical options include:

  • Open thoracotomy, resection of pleural blebs and pleurectomy: This is considered the gold standard in preventing recurrences, with a failure rate of less than 1%
  • Open thoracotomy, resection of pleural blebs and pleural abrasion/pleurodesis: The recurrence rate is approximately 2%
  • Video assisted thorascopic surgery (VATS):This technique is becoming increasingly popular as it is associated with a shorter hospital stay and less postoperative pain. The recurrence rates of >5% mean that it cannot be recommended for patients wishing to dive
  • Chemical pleurodesis: This is an option for patients that refuse surgery or are considered poor surgical candidates. Tetracycline, or talc, can be administered via the chest drain. The failure rate is approximately 10%.