• Treatment

    The goal of treatment is to cure the infection and remove the collection of pus from the space between the lung and the inner surface of the chest wall. Antibiotics are prescribed to control the infection.

    The health care provider will place a chest tube to completely drain the pus. A surgeon may need to perform a procedure to peel away the lining of the lung (decortication) if the lung does not expand properly.

    Support Groups

    Expectations (prognosis)

    When empyema complicates pneumonia, the risk of permanent lung damage and death goes up. Patients will need long-term treatment with antibiotics and drainage. However, most people fully recover from empyema.

    • Pleural thickening
    • Reduced lung function

    Calling your health care provider

    Call your health care provider if you develop symptoms of empyema.