What is subcutaneous emphysema?

Air under the skin. Subcutaneous emphysema is a medical term used to indicate a condition where pockets of air have collected underneath the skin. This most often happens after chest surgery and frequently indicates that there has been an air leak from the lung or airways. It will dissipate or go away when the air leak has healed or is better controlled. This condition is temporary and not lifethreatening.
Air under the skin. Air under the skin that is typically leaking from your lungs, but can also come from your esophagus or the trachea (wind pipe), or it could be due to infection. Either way it can be a serious condition that requires treatment regardless of where the air is originating. You need to see your doctor right away, who will examine you and perform tests to determine the cause and recommend treatment.

Related Questions

Please help! What is the treatment for subcutaneous emphysema?

None. Subcutaneous emphysema is the seeping or air into the looser tissues such as the skin and the mediatinum. Treat the source and let nature take its course, it will resorb once the source is treated.

For how long does it take for subcutaneous emphysema to be absorbed?

Depends. Small ones and immediately treated can resorb in a few hours. If the source such as pneumothorax was large or is continuing, then it may take several days or weeks.

Hat could be the cause of getting subcutaneous emphysema randomly again?

Subcutaneous emphyse. It requires free air generally entering from lungs. Often a lung bleb ruptures putting air into the subcutaneous tissue. If it seals rapidly the source may not be obvious.
Likely a bleb. You can get spontaneous rupture of balloon like areas in your lungs called blebs or bullae. Also, you can get a spontaneous rupture of the mediastinum that could cause it.

How do you know if somebody need another or another X-ray of a subcutaneous emphysema?

Why why why. Depends on why the emphysema is there. If it is post procedural, they will follow over 24-48 hours. If I knew what and how severe the underlaying problem was, I could answer, but lacking that information, I will use the nebulous clinical judgement answer.
Looking for reason. Subcutaneous emphysema alone is a self-limited problem. The rationale to doing serial x-rays is usually to find something else that may be treated such as a pneumothorax that had not been evident previously but may have been the cause for the sq emphysema.

Is chest pain and subcutaneous emphysema related?

Yes. Subcutaneous emphysema is typically a painful to touch condition, usually caused by physical trauma. Treatment is supportive as it is a self limiting condition in most cases.

Is it possible that the cpap device be a cause of subcutaneous emphysema?

Yes. We have to be careful with the pressures from the CPAP in people with blebs or bullae in that it can actually cause them to pop, cause pneumothorax and yes subcutaneous emphysema, rare but can happen. Sometimes when patients fight the pressure there is also increased esophageal pressure and may actually cause rupture (boorhave's), fortunately also rare.

Will getting lung reduction surgery fix my subcutaneous emphysema?

No. Subcutaneous emphysema is usually the result of a collapsed lung (pneumothorax). It is treated with placing a drainage tube between the ribs to "suck" the air out from around the collapsed lung and allow it to reexpand. Subcut. Emphysema can take days to resolve even after the lung expands. Lung volume reduction surgery is really an elective procedure rather than treatment for an acute process.
Yes. Subcutaneous emphysema is a complication related to your lung emphysema or blebs beeing present in your lung. Air leaking from your lungs tracks under the skin and causes subcutaneous emphysema. Lung volume reduction should help as well improve your breathing overall. You need to discuss your surgical options with a thoracic surgeon experienced in lung volume reduction surgery.
No. Subcutaneous emphysema is the results of air tracking from the lungs through the chest wall and into the subcutaneous space. It is actually more of a cosmetic problem as it can look very disturbing. The main problem is the air leak from the lungs. You can drain the leaking air and keep the lungs inflated with chest tubes, but if it persist, you may have to consider surgery to seal the leak.