A small pneumothorax may go away on its own. You may only need oxygen and rest.
The health care provider may use a needle to pull the extra air out from around the lung so it can expand more fully. You may be allowed to go home if you live near the hospital.
If you have a large pneumothorax, a chest tube will be placed between the ribs into the space around the lungs to help drain the air and allow the lung to re-expand.
The chest tube can be left in place for several days. You may need to stay in the hospital. However, you may be able to go home if a small chest tube is used.
Some patients with a collapsed lung need extra oxygen.
Lung surgery may be needed to treat your pneumothorax or to prevent future episodes. The area where the leak occurred may be repaired. Sometimes, a special chemical is placed into the area of the collapsed lung. This chemical causes a scar to form. This procedure is called pleurodesis.