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A 37-year-old member asked:

how does the dr fix a collapsed lung?

2 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Gutti Rao
Dr. Gutti Rao answered
Hospital-based practice 46 years experience
Find out the cause: Need to find the cause first for the collapse-pleural effusion, pneumothorax, endobronchial tumor--etc. Appropriate intervention depending on the cause.
Dr. Nestor Del rosario
Addiction Medicine 34 years experience
It depends: A large penumothorax from any cause is treated with a chest tube placement or at least evacuation of the air outside the lung. A small one can be treated with 100% o2 by mask and observation. If it's from a ventilator, even a small size may need chest tube. Pleurodesis or sticking the lung to the chest wall is considered depending on the cause of the lung collapse.

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A 31-year-old member asked:

Can a collapsed lung improve on its own?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics 33 years experience
Yes: A healthy normal person with no particular risk factors, can get a spontaneous pneumothorax (collapsed lung). If the amount of air that leaked out was small, and the leak had sealed itself off, the doctor may decide to observe the patient and let the leaked air get reabsorbed by the body.
A 23-year-old member asked:

Can you get a collapsed lung from holding your breath for too long?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics 33 years experience
No: Holding one's breath a long time is not a known risk factor for collapsing a lung. The risk factors are smoking, and having lung diseases such as asthma, cystic fibrosis, chronic obstructive lung problems, etc... Also, a person who has had one spontaneous pneumothorax (collapsed lung) is at higher risk for having another pneumothorax.
CA
A 27-year-old member asked:

What does it feel like to have a collapsed lung?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics 33 years experience
Trouble breathing: Symptoms of pneumothorax (collapsed lung) include sharp chest pains (especially with breathing), a dry cough, and shortness of breath. If the leaked air is compressing the lungs and heart, it is a tension pneumothorax (life-threatening!) and symptoms include a very anxious looking person with trouble breathing or talking, swollen veins in the neck, & bluish skin color (cyanosis).
A 39-year-old member asked:

What happens if you try to fly with a partially collapsed lung?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics 33 years experience
Depends on pressure: When flying with a partly collapsed lung, the leaked air in the chest (between the lung and rib cage) expands as the outside air pressure drops as the plane goes up. The expanding trapped air compresses the lung & heart, leading to shortness of breath, inadequate oxygen intake, poor circulation and death. Flying at low altitudes won't expand the trapped air much, but the plane might hit something.
A 28-year-old member asked:

Will a partially collapsed lung re inflate itself over time?

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics 33 years experience
Maybe it will: A partially collapsed lung is due to an air leak from the inside of the lung through the covering of the lung, out into the space between the lung and the ribs. The site of the leak has some damage, which will heal itself later. If only a very small amount of air leaked into the chest cavity, that air might go away (reabsorbed by the body) without treatment, and the lung will re-inflate.

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Last updated Sep 26, 2018

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