Lung Collapse Therapy
A successful collapse of the lung facilitated healing by resting the affected area. Collapse
therapy was likened to putting a splint on a broken leg to immobilize it.
Shot Bags - An early form of non-invasive lung rest treatment for patients who had
infections of both lungs was the "shot bag" method. A bag containing one pound of shot was placed on either collarbone
of the patient and the amount of shot increased 4 or 5 ounces each week until the patient was carrying 5 pounds of weight
on the upper part of each lung. This restricted the excursions of the lungs, made them quiescent, taught correct breathing
and produced partial rest for the lungs.
Artificial Pneumothorax - compression of the affected lung by the introduction of air into the
pleural cavity, between the chest wall and the lung. The air would be absorbed and refills were usually given once
a week. Pneumo was designed to be continued anywhere from two to four years or more.
Bilateral Pneumothorax - compression of both lungs by pneumothorax. In this procedure,
a portion of both lungs were collapsed and patients, though short of breath, could lead moderately active lives.
Interpleural Pneumolysis - cauterizing of adhesions between the chest wall and lung. The
adhesions prevented the lungs from collapsing satisfactorily.
Thoracoplasty - removal of the ribs on one side of the thorax to accomplish a permanent
collapse of the diseased part of the lung. This surgery was necessary when pleural adhesions prevented the
use of pneumothorax.
Phrenicotomy - Cutting or crushing of the phrentic nerve on one side
causing elevation of the corresponding diaphragm, thus compressing the lower part of the lung on that side.
Plombage - Inserting porcelain balls into the thoracic cavity to collapse he lung beneath.
It was a one-time procedure unlike pneomothorax which had to be repeated.