A bullectomy is a surgical procedure that removes large blisters or abnormal air-filled spaces in the functional areas of the lungs. Typically, these growths develop because conditions such as emphysema destroy the air sacs. As the air-filled spaces increase in size, they compress the normal lung tissue and inhibit breathing. They may also cause fatigue and bloating in the chest. Surgeons remove the blisters through small incisions in the chest.
In most cases, bullae are blister-like growths that contain air or fluids such as pus. The lungs contain many small air sacs or alveoli that facilitate gas exchange, allowing the lungs to oxygenate the blood and remove waste products such as carbon dioxide. When something damages the alveoli, they develop into bullae and lose their ability to perform gas exchange. Their only function is to take up space. Over time, the bullae will slowly absorb more air and increase in size.
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