Doctor insights on:
What's Spontaneuous Pneumothorax Recovery Time
Depends: Depending size, the leak can potentially seal in a few days like a scab formation. Full resolution of "small" pneumothorax, without intervention, generally takes up to 10 days. Lung "healing" takes weeks to months. The recovery from surgery is variable depending on techniques and patient specifics. If someone smokes (tobacco or marijuana), the lung continues to be damaged. ...Read more
I had a pneumothorax on my left lung 3 times but have not had surgery and has not happened now for 3 years can I fly to america on a 7 hour flight?
Air around the lung: There is normally no air in the thin space between the rib cage and the lungs. Normally the negative pressure inside the ribcage keeps the lung inflated with the lung gliding against the cage. The lungs expand as the rib cage moves. If there is a hole in the lung or if there is a stab from the outside to inside of the rib cage, the pressure rises and the lung collapses - a pneumothorax. ...Read more
Yes: Pneumothorax can be spontaneous and occurs 7.4 and 1.2 per 100, 000 in men & women respectively. It also results after trauma, surgery, respirator therapy and needle biopsy of the lung. Some cases are treated conservatively, others require placement of a surgical chest tube for re-expansion of the lung. ...Read more
Exam and X-ray.: Pneumothorax is first and foremost diagnosed clinically based on symptoms (shortness of breath, increased breathing, oxygen requirement) and by listening to the chest (decreased breath sounds). It should be confirmed by chest x-ray. If a small pneumothorax is present, physical exam is less reliable and a chest x-ray should be done. ...Read more
Air: Pneumothorax occurs when air enters the space between the lung and the chest wall. The air pushes/collapses the lung. It has to be removed with a drainage procedure but small pneumothoraces can resolve on their own with time. ...Read more
Air in pleural space: Pneumothorax happens when air collects in the space around the lungs - between the lungs and the chest wall. The air usually comes from a hole in the airways or lungs, although a hole in the esophagus can do it too (rarely). ...Read more
Rest!: A lung can take weeks to fully recover from a pneumothorax, depending on the cause, extent, and treatment of it. The primary goal is to 'reinflate' the lung and prevent air from again leaking into the pleural space. This will require rest, and regardless of the severity, caution: having had a pneumothorax increases the likelihood of developing another later in life. ...Read more
Sometimes, a small pneumothorax can be monitored outside of the hospital with daily chest xrays. BUT, this must be coordinated with your doctor because, sometimes, the collapse can become very large all of the sudden. That can be life-threatening.
So, very important to coordinate follow up with your doctor. ...Read more
A hole in your lung: Put your fist in a slightly inflated balloon. Your fist is your lung. The balloon represents the lung lining both inner and outer. The space inside is where a small amount of fluid lives. When the outer balloon is punctured by something (broken rib, ect), air pushes down onto your lung, and your lung 'drops'. We place a little tube into that space to re-inflate your lung, allowing healing. ...Read more
Depends on work: As long as you are not breathing hard or lifting heavy objects you may return when breathing is comfortable. Wait 6 weeks at least for healing before anything strenuous and have a follow up x-ray before that time has passed to make sure the lung is fully inflated. ...Read more
A pneumothorax is a collapse of the lung in the chest space due to air escaping the lung. It can be from penetrating trauma, such as a stab wound or gunshot wound. They also can be complications of procedures, such as removal of fluid from around the lung or placement of a central line.
But, many times, it can be from a rupture of a bubble that was present in the lung since birth. ...Read more