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Bullous disease

A bulla is an air space or “air blister” in the lung. A patient may be deemed to have bullous disease if on imaging they have multiple “bulla” or air spaces in the lung. Patients may require further consultation with us for this condition if they have worsening shortness of breath or if they have had a spontaneous secondary pneumothorax.

Signs and symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Or any signs and symptoms of pneumothorax: chest pain, cough
  • Or a patient may be asymptomatic


  • Pleurodesis

    A pleurodesis is a procedure where we instill an agent (medication or talc) into the pleural space that causes inflammation and scarring. This is sometimes performed during a VATS wedge resection or we will instill the medication at the patient’s bedside via an existing chest tube.

  • Bullectomy

    A bullectomy is the surgical removal of one or more giant bullae. This is usually performed as a VATS, but can be done as an open thoracotomy. Pleurodesis is sometimes performed at the end of this procedure.

  • Lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS)

    Performed via VATS or thoracotomy, the surgeon performs multiple wedge excisions to remove areas of the lung with minimal function due to large bullae or changes due to emphysema. The goal is to improve quality of life by removing as much diseased lung as possible while keeping the greatest amount of functioning lung.