Home About TB TB History Human Impact Timeline People Profiles Sanatorium Age Preventing TB Finding TB Treating TB International TB Today Index

  Treatments of Tuberculosis


Percentage of patients with TB that received "lung collapse therapy" in Canada, 1937-1961.

Although simple bed rest was the preferred and most common treatment for tuberculosis patients during the Sanatorium Age, more invasive treatments also became common. Surgeons continued to hold to the traditional philosophy that only a resting lung can heal itself, but now they used more advanced medicine to force the lungs to rest.

 Bed Rest

When other forms of treatment failed to heal the cavities left by active pulmonary Tuberculosis in the lungs, it was common for physicians to perform several different surgical procedures to collapse the diseased lung. When more simple treatments, such as bed rest, did not completely remove these sores in the lungs, it was thought that closing up the lung would prevent further spreading of the disease and aide in the patientís recovery from Tuberculosis. Such procedures came to be known as "compression therapies", or "lung collapse therapies". After much surgical improvement and as drug therapies became available in the 1950s and 1960s, these surgeries became more and more commonplace in Canada.

Surgeries used in the treatment of tuberculosis included Phrenicotomy, Thoracoplasty, Pneumothorax, and removals such as the Lobectomy and Pneumoectomy. Today, compression therapies are not used in the treatment of tuberculosis. Rather, prescription medications alone are favored in the treatment of this disease.