Background For the surgical treatment of recurrent primary spontaneous pneumothoraces (rPSP) different operative therapies are applied to achieve permanent freedom from recurrence. Methods/design This multicenter clinical trial evaluates the long-term results of two commonly applied surgical techniques for the treatment of rPSP. Based on the inclusion and exclusion criteria, and after obtaining the patients’ informed consent, participants are randomized into the two surgical treatment arms: pulmonary wedge resection plus parietal pleurectomy (WRPP) or parietal pleurectomy alone (PP). Consecutively, all study participants will be followed up for two years to evaluate the surgical long-term effect. The primary efficacy endpoint is the recurrence rate of pneumothorax within 24 months after surgery. The calculated sample size is 360 patients (n = 180 per treatment arm) to prove superiority of one of the two treatments. So far, 22 surgical sites have submitted their declaration of commitment, giving the estimated number of participating patients. Discussion A prospective randomized clinical trial has been started to compare two established surgical therapies to evaluate the long-term results regarding recurrence rates. Furthermore, cost of treatment, and influence on the perioperative morbidity and mortality as well as on quality of life are analyzed. If the study reveals equivalence for both surgical techniques, unnecessary pulmonary resections could be avoided.