Bullae are enlarged (greater than 1 cm) air spaces within the lungs that are sometimes secondary to COPD. They are the result of an obstruction within the bronchiole tubes or bronchus. Giant bullae cause substantial compression on the underlying, healthy lung tissue which in turn, reduces blood flow and oxygen to the lungs. This causes worsening shortness of breath.
Once the bullae are removed by means of a surgical procedure called a bullectomy, the healthy air sacs in the lungs can expand and breathing will become easier.
The typical candidate for a bullectomy includes those patients who suffer from severe dyspnea, hemoptysis or repeated bullae infections. Your doctor may prescribe the following tests as a method of evaluating your lung function prior to surgery: