Bronchiectasis - Treatments

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What treatments have been helpful in treating bronchiectasis?

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What is the treatment for bronchiectasis?

Unfortunately, bronchiectasis is not a curable disease, but a slowly progressive disease. Treatment for bronchiectasis is based on control of symptoms and preventing additional infections. Treatment protocols frequently include keeping immunizations up-to-date, eliminating aggravating factors such as cigarette smoke, alcohol and drugs, and encouraging good nutrition. Increasing fluid intake to keep mucous less sticky is another treatment. Sometimes an expectorant (to loosen the mucous) and mucous thinning medication can help decrease symptoms.

Chest physical therapy , which usually involves rhythmic clapping on the back of your chest , can help with loosening sputum so it can be coughed up.

If patients acquire an infection, antibiotics effective against the pathogen (virus, bacteria, or fungus) and chest physiotherapy are utilized as primary treatments. In addition, bronchodilators, corticosteroid therapy and, if needed, oxygen therapy is utilized in many patients. Patients with severe exacerbations of bronchiectasis usually need hospitalization and IV medications.

Patients with bronchiectasis that is poorly controlled with antibiotics may require surgical therapy. Surgical therapy (or in some individuals, bronchoscopy) can remove mucus plugging, foreign bodies or tumors that exacerbate bronchiectasis. Excessive hemoptysis may need to be treated surgically or by bronchial artery embolization. Some patients may benefit from surgical removal of nonfunctional lung tissue.

Return to Bronchiectasis (Acquired, Congenital)

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Comment from: lovinwife, 55-64 Male (Caregiver) Published: November 24

My husband has small cell lung cancer, extensive stage. His bronchiectasis is mainly due to all the radiation treatments (120 plus). He continues to have more and more infections. We are trying to find out what we can do to break up the mucus. He coughs all the time and is now taking another round of antibiotics.

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