The original treatments for tuberculosis which were practiced at Saranac Lake were based on Dr. E. L. Trudeau's personal experiences: fresh air, good food and rest. These were confirmed by the accounts in European medical journals of the works of Dr. Hermann Brehmer and Dr. Peter Dettweiler.

Later, various forms of chest surgery were employed: pneumothorax, the phrenic nerve operation, 1  pneumoperitoneum, thoracoplasty, 2   partial resection of diseased areas, the removal in rare cases of the entire lung itself, and other forms of chest surgery.

Drug treatments began with the discovery of streptomycin. When drug resistance developed, isoniazid and para-aminosalicylic acid, known as PAS, were added.

See Curing.


1.  The phrenic nerve (which supplies the diaphragm) was cut or crushed so as to permanently paralyse the diaphragm on that side. The paralysed diaphragm would then rise up and the lung on that side would collapse, thus closing the cavity. (Wikipedia)

2.  When the tubercular cavity was located in the apex of the lung, thoracoplasty could be performed. Six to eight ribs were broken and pushed into the thoracic cavity to collapse the lung beneath. This was a disfiguring operation, but it avoided the need for repeated procedures. (Wikipedia)