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A 47-year-old member asked:

How do you treat empyema?

4 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Martin Raff
Infectious Disease 56 years experience
Drainage: Empyema or pus in the space around the outside of the lungs usually needs drainage and treatment with antibiotics directed against the causative agent (bacteria, tuberculosis, etc.). Sometimes surgical intervention may be necessary.
Dr. Loki Skylizard
Thoracic Surgery 20 years experience
Agree: The mainstay of treatment is early recognition, drainage, complete lung re-expansion, and targeted antibiotics. When indicated, modern thoracic surgical treatment of empyema uses minimally invasive techniques. Thoracotomy is often unnecessary (and potentially more dangerous) approach.
Dr. Douglas Arenberg
Pulmonary Critical Care 31 years experience
Drain completely: Sometimes this can be accomplished with a simple chest tube, but often, empyema must be treated by a surgery, sometimes multiple surgeries, to literally peel the infected fluid off the surface of the lung (like a stale jello mold) and place a long term drain in the chest cavity. Antibiotics are only a part of the picture. The primary treatment is to evacuate the infected closed space.
Dr. Loki Skylizard
Thoracic Surgery 20 years experience
Find early: The mainstay of treatment is early recognition, drainage, complete lung re-expansion, and targeted antibiotics. When indicated, modern thoracic surgical treatment of empyema uses minimally invasive techniques. Thoracotomy is often unnecessary (and potentially more dangerous) approach.

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A 42-year-old member asked:

What is an empyema ?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Sue Ferranti
Internal Medicine 29 years experience
Empyema...: Empyema is when there is pus in the space surrounding the lung, between the lung and chest wall. It often needs to be drained as well as treated with antibiotics. It is a serious infection.

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Last updated Nov 27, 2017

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