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Fort Knox, KY
A 34-year-old female asked:

Should i worry about small atelectasis and small pleural effusion in my lungs 6 weeks after pneumonia? i'm worried

1 doctor answer6 doctors weighed in
Dr. David Earle
General Surgery 31 years experience
Probably normal: These changes are typical after pneumonia, but should resolve within 6-12 weeks. Ask whomever was treating you for the pneumonia about the need for a follow up chest X-ray in a couple months. Hope this helps!
Dr. Sue Ferranti
Internal Medicine 29 years experience
Agree, Dr. EarLe. In addition, ask your doctor for an incentive spirometer, a device that will help you take deep breaths. Use the incentive spirometer at least every hour while you are awake and this will help your lungs to heal faster! Definitely agree with repeat chest x-rays until the x-ray is back to baseline. If you smoke, you need to quit ASAP! Good luck!
Apr 19, 2015

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Fort Knox, KY
A 34-year-old female asked:

How could pneumonia be gone 6 weeks and now have atelectasis and pleural effusion?

1 doctor answer6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Sue Ferranti
Internal Medicine 29 years experience
Common....: Atelectasis and pleural effusion can both occur with pneumonia. Atelectasis can heal faster if the patient takes frequent deep breaths and the use of an incentive spirometer will help with this. Ask your doctor to prescribe an incentive spirometer for you. The fluid around the lung will get reabsorbed over time. Get a repeat chest xray to make sure your lungs completely heal. Hope you feel better

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Last updated Dec 27, 2017

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