Until comparatively recent years I had an idea that it would be dangerous, or at least unwise, to open deliberately a tuberculous cavity of the lung, as has been customary in nontuberculous abscesses.
While my experience is extremely limited, I am convinced that the danger of this procedure is not as serious as I had thought, and that great improvement may follow an operation of this kind. I had believed that openings into these cavities would never heal, and that the danger of hemorrhage was always present. Thus far, however, in three cases in my own practice, I have seen no hemorrhage, and the tendency toward the formation of a permanent fistula seems to have existed in proportion to the degree of collapse of the walls of the cavity. I do not here include direct bronchocutaneous stomas.
The cases in which this mode of surgical therapy should be selected are
LILIENTHAL H. DIRECT DRAINAGE OF TUBERCULOUS PULMONARY CAVITIES. Arch Surg. 1929;19(6):1161–1168. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1929.01150060223011
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