Viewer Comments: Pneumothorax - Describe Your Experience

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Pneumothorax - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with pneumothorax.

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Comment from: Honey, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 20

It is the doctor's guess that my pneumothorax occurred during a 3.5 hour overseas flight. As we were staying with friends and didn't want to spoil the holiday, I didn't say anything about (or do anything about) the symptoms which were breathlessness during any exertion, pain in the shoulder and ribs and the frightening fact that, if I lay on my right side, I could not breathe at all. I also had a pain in my head unlike a normal dull headache. After 12 days of this, we made the return flight. I am told that it is a miracle that I survived it. Fourteen days after the first flight and onset of symptoms, I had an x-ray and was rushed to the emergency ward where a tube was inserted. It was removed 4 days later, which was 6 days ago. The pneumothorax has slowly decreased but has not disappeared to date. I have been told to take it easy for a month which I guess is the expected recovery time. I am not allowed to fly for 6 weeks and will never be able to scuba-dive, sky-dive or be a pilot, which, as a 63 year old female, I can live with!

Comment from: Bobbyr, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: November 24

I had a pneumothorax about 12 years ago resulting from a slip on wet grass. I injured my right rib cage. Ten hours later, I rushed to the emergency room, believing I had had a heart attack, only to find out my right lung had collapsed. After numerous and persistent lung collapses while having a tube attached and removed, doctors determined that I had 25% damage. It was suggested that, although I had stopped smoking 16 years earlier, my lungs had already been destroyed by the time I stopped smoking. After 18 days in the hospital, surgery removed one quarter of my right lung as well a fist-size embolism in the middle of my right lung. Today, I suffer from recurring pains in my right side, probably from the large amount of scar tissue I developed. My only complaint is that the pain will never go away completely. I can tell you that I work out five days a week on free weights and have been doing so three months after my surgery without a recurrence. My complaint is that the pain to my right side still persists. When I ask doctors about it, they don't have a clue.

Comment from: KC, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: September 10

I am still recovering from a spontaneous pneumothorax. I was home for six days with a tube in my chest, which was not fun. After that did not work, I went in for surgery where they removed a part of my lung and scuffed up my chest wall to re-stick the lung to the wall. Apparently, spontaneous pneumothorax can be hereditary. My dad, my brother, and I have all had it; the only difference was that I had it on my left side, and they had it on their right side. If you experience any symptoms, go to the ER right away!

Comment from: chipUSMC, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: September 10

I was recently unfortunately able to experience a pneumothorax. I fell down some stairs, fracturing three ribs and collapsing my lung. When I got to the hospital, the lung was 20% collapsed. By the time I was seen, it had gotten to 75% collapsed. A chest tube was placed. A couple days later, I was released and went home. I had many problems in the days to come. The Percocet wasn't enough to treat the pain. After going to the hospital a number of times, I was finally put on Dilaudid.

Comment from: nomorecollapsedlung, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: January 16

I was sitting down smoking. After a while felt a weird pain in my back. I got up to go take a shower right after and my body started acting weird and could not catch my breath. I saw doctor and was prescribed antibiotics and a steroid shot thinking it was upper respiratory infection or bronchitis. A week later, I was still hurting and not breathing went back to doctor. A week after that, I went back as I was not feeling better at all. The doctor sent me to get blood work for a blood clot and an X-ray. The X-ray tech said your lung is 100% collapsed and you need a chest tube quickly. I told them I'd been like this for two weeks now! I was rushed to the hospital where the chest tube was placed. I spent three nights in hospital and now it has been about four weeks since I got out. I have no problems. I was a long-time smoker since I was a teenager, but I haven't had a puff since right before I went in the hospital to do the X-ray! It was a terrible experience, but it got me to quit smoking!

Comment from: kevin, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: November 26

The pain was the worst I have ever suffered. I have had ruptured discs before but that pain was not as severe. I am slowly getting better two and a half months later and I am assured I will be back to normal health very soon.

Comment from: paula, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 18

I have just been released from hospital after having my fifth pneumothorax. After my third, I was operated on to stop this happening. My lung collapsed again about 10 days after the operation and now again 14months later. I have now had the talc put into my chest to see if this helps only doctors are not too optimistic. I do not fit the normal stereotype for pneumothorax, I am female, 5'2 and slightly overweight, never smoked or taken drugs.


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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Collapsed Lung (Pneumothorax):

Pneumothorax - Causes

What was the cause of your pneumothorax?

Collapsed Lung - Treatment

What was the treatment for your collapsed lung?

Collapsed Lung - Symptoms

What were the symptoms of your collapsed lung?

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