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What happens when part of your lung collapses without warning?

2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Barbara Stark Baxter
Internal Medicine - Allergy & Immunology
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Pneumothorax

When a lung collapses, air leaks out of it into the chest cavity.
When this happens, the air can't usually get back into the lung, so each time you breathe in, more air leaks into the cavity and the lung gets smaller and the air pocket gets bigger. Less gas exchange can take place because part of the lung is not inflated anymore. To fix this, doctors remove the air and the lung re-inflates.

In brief: Pneumothorax

When a lung collapses, air leaks out of it into the chest cavity.
When this happens, the air can't usually get back into the lung, so each time you breathe in, more air leaks into the cavity and the lung gets smaller and the air pocket gets bigger. Less gas exchange can take place because part of the lung is not inflated anymore. To fix this, doctors remove the air and the lung re-inflates.
Dr. Barbara Stark Baxter
Dr. Barbara Stark Baxter
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Dr. Aaron Milstone
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