1940-1990 Therapies are developed
Pulminologists performed minor operations in the 1930s and 1940s such as the canalization of abscesses and artificial pneumothorax, i.e. collapse theory. Until the end of the 1940s pneumothorax therapy was the most commonly used procedure in the treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis. In artificial pneumothorax air was inserted into the pleural cavity, i.e. outside the lung, which caused the diseased lung to collapse isolating the infected area or “cavern”. In maintenance therapy air had to be added into the pleural space to replace the original air that was gradually absorbed. Pneumothorax maintenance treatments could be administered at patients’ home years after discharge from hospital.
Doctors who had specialized in chest and lung surgery in Helsinki started working as consulting surgeons in the 1950s in most pulmonary sanatoriums, where they performed lung operations on patients. The most common surgery was thoracoplasty, which yielded a better treatment outcome than pneumothorax treatment, the removal of a section of lungs or the whole lung, or the canalizing of abscesses in open surgery. Thoracoplasty or chest wall reforming surgery involved a removal of a part of the ribs from the diseased side of the chest, which collapsed resulting in the diseased lung ending up at the stage of rest.
The consulting surgeon in the Central Häme Sanatorium during the years 1953-1963 came from Turku; he was assistant chief surgeon, and later professor, dr. Sauli Viikari. He had worked as a surgeon in the Sanatorium of Southwest Finland since 1953. In those daysdr. Pentti Antila was specializing in pulmonary tuberculosis. He had been taught to assist in lung operations dr. Sauli Viikari. In 1955 dr. Antila started working as a ward physician in the Central Häme Sanatorium and once again began to assist in operations performed by dr. Viikari. A modern operating theatre was completed at Pikonlinna in 1955.
Doctor Ville Autio was specializing in chest and lung surgery in Turku at the beginning of the 1960s. He became the consulting and operating doctor for the Central Häme Sanatorium in 1963 after Viikari. Soon thereafter Ville Autio was selected as chief physician of the I surgical department in the newly opened Tampere Central Hospital. He started in this position in 1964.
Autio brought along with him from Turku to Tampere a specialist in chest and lung surgery, Hannu Markkula, who assumed responsibility for the consultations at Pikonlinna.