The main goals of treating atelectasis are to treat the cause of the condition and to reexpand the collapsed lung tissue. Treatment may vary based on the underlying cause of the atelectasis.
If atelectasis is caused by surgery, your doctor may recommend that you take the following steps to fully expand your lungs:
Your doctor also may suggest using positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) or continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). Both devices use mild air pressure to help keep the airways and air sacs open.
If pressure from outside the lungs is causing atelectasis, your doctor will treat the cause of the pressure. For example, if the cause is a tumor or fluid buildup, your doctor will remove the tumor or fluid. This will allow your lung to fully expand.
If a blockage is causing atelectasis, you'll receive treatment to remove the blockage or relieve it. If the blockage is from an inhaled object, such as a peanut, your doctor will remove it during bronchoscopy. (For more information, go to "How Is Atelectasis Diagnosed?")
If a mucus plug is blocking your airways, your doctor may use suction to remove it. Other treatments also can help clear excess mucus from the lungs, such as:
If a lung condition or other medical disorder us causing atelectasis, your doctor will treat the underlying cause with medicines, procedures, or other therapies.
Clinical trials are research studies that explore whether a medical strategy, treatment, or device is safe and effective for humans.
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