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A 20-year-old male asked:

I have a partially collapsed lung. i have had two xrays since, no improvement. what will happen if i don't get the tube to help it re-inflate?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. David Earle
General Surgery 32 years experience
Could get worse: A simple collapsed lung, also known as a pneumothorax, can turn into a life-threatening condition called a tension pneumothorax. This can be a sudden event that rapidly progresses to death.
Dr. Creighton Wright
surgery 57 years experience
Unpleasant: It depends on size pneumothorax. While there is a chance for a small one to resorb and be fine, others will, either enlarge, or fibrinous material will "trap" the lung leaving a space that fills with fluid. Restriction of breathing capacity can occur. The space can get infected=empyema one is also at risk for recurrent pneumothorax. Follow your thoracic surgeon advice.
Last updated Jul 10, 2015

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