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Lung & Respiratory Disorders / COPD Message Board

Lung & Respiratory Disorders / COPD Board Index

Hello All,

Has anyone here ever had experience with a collapsed lung? It happened to me last week -- thought I was having a heart attack. Anyway, when they finally told me what was wrong, they said a surgeon would come in the morning to do a chest tube -- was NOT happy about that. Well, when the surgeon finally came, he told me he was sending me home to let it resolve on its own. I really was scared to go home, but okay. I contacted a pulmonologist on my own, who said she would have done the tube, as it was over 30% of my lung. So, she has me coming in every 2-3 days for x-rays to make sure the lung is improving (it is). She is also running a lot of tests to figure out why this happened. I still have a good bit of pain/pressure in my chest and up my neck, along with a rumbling feeling in the lower middle of my chest -- it's making me crazy, but she says the rumbling is not from my lung (yes, she can hear it). Frankly, I'm just walking around scared to death now. I don't think we can post our ages, so I'll just say that I am late-thirties, very tall, very thin, and, up until last week, a smoker.

If anyone can share anything, I'd appreciate it....

Thanks and be well,

So sorry to hear your going through all this! I have suffered a pneumothorax but it was after I returned home from having lung surgery. It's not only frightening but very painful to try to breath. I was 300 miles away from where i had had surgery, so I went to my primary care, who by listening to my lungs could tell there was partical collapes. Mine was due to sleep apnea and not breathing fully while sleeping so when morning came I couldn't take that deap breath without extream pain because my lung would not expand. The only way to get it back up was to breath deep, using a spirometor until it would "pop" back open. (thats what it felt like to me) It felt like someone punching me from the inside out! But as I said it was after having part of my lung removed. I was never sent for a x-ray so I don't know the degree of collapes. It took serveral weeks to resolve.

From what I have read about pneumothorax's anything over 20-25% collaps SHOULD have a chest tube placed or at least have a needle placed to draw the pressure or air out. Your very lucky to be improving despite not having that done. I'm glad you have found a different Doctor who seems much more informative than your first. (In MY opinion of course)

I can understand your fear for sure, and hope your Doctor can figure out why this happened to you. Then you will at least know your risk as to whether it can happen again. A CT scan would be very telling. I have what they call Larger "bullae" scattered in my lungs which are like blisters in there. They can accompany emphysema which I also have, as well as a rare type of lung infection that is difficult to cure. IF one of these bullae rupture it can cause a pneumo as well. My last CT scan had identified an area of collapes that is slowing increasing in size. I will be re-scanning next week to monitor some new growths(thought to be part of this infection) and also to keep an eye on this collapes. I'm 43 so I'm not too far ahead of you in age. I'm also thin but I'm short at 5'2".

Please let us know what your new Doctor finds as to the cause.
I wish you well, take care, and God bless.
I had a full collapse 4 months ago and i was driving on a quiet road when suddenly i just could not breathe ,no sudden pain but i did have a pain in my right shoulder for a few days before.Luckely my girlfriend was with me and got on the phone to our local doc and to the ambulance aswell ,As i have severe emphysema my so called good lung barley kept me alive ,after 3 hours not been able to talk walk or hardly breathe the doc in the hospital put in a large needle and straight away a tube ,my god il never forget the pain but then some relief and rest,the next day the consultant said i must have a heart like an elephant as another 30 minutes and i would be gone!
I spent a week in my local hospital on a chest drain hoping for the lung to reinflate ,no luck so i was sent to a cardiothorasic ward and had two more collapses so on suction for a few days and had surgery a VATS blebectomy which was sucessfull ,so in all a month in hospital ,a painfull procedure and still have a fair bit of sorness yet.
I must say my case is different to most as im 48 but have a condition called ALPHA1 WHICH causes severe emphysema at an early age. im still here so thats all i can say.
my son had this same problem but chest tube dosent last surgury is the best the rumbling sound is things called blebs there like a crackling sound and when there popping thats when your in pain because air is coming out of them and collapseing the lung. my son gets chest pain if he dose to much

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