Patient Comments: Pneumothorax - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with pneumothorax.

Comment from: sue, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 15

I first suffered a spontaneous pneumothorax at 17 years of age. I had hospital rest at the time. In years to follow I had 4 more attacks; by this time I was a mother to 6 children. It happened again just before taking my children to school one morning. I knew what was happening but trying to stay calm I took my kids to the bus stop but asked one of my children to stay home, explaining I did not feel well. Arriving back home I asked my daughter to call 000. A tube was inserted under my arm pit area to relieve pressure on the lung and pleural wall, and an emergency operation followed, and I spent 7 days in ICU. I had cysts on the top of my lung and they were removed. That was 11 years ago now, and today my 20 year old son has developed the same problem. I am heartbroken to think of what he has to go through.

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Comment from: tamtam, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 13

My pneumothorax resulted from being stabbed in the back with a knife. I really didn't even know that my lung had collapsed as I was in shock from the stabbing. However, that shock quickly disappeared with the insertion of the chest tubes. That was extremely painful (literally worse than childbirth) and the subsequent removal was just as bad. I would not wish that pain on my worst enemy. It has been just over 6 months now and I still have some residual pain (tightness) when taking deep breaths. I see the recurrence rate of the lung collapsing again is 50 percent. I don't think I could go through that again!

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Comment from: steve, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: August 11

I have had the surgery to fix my pneumothorax two weeks ago and I still get waves of extreme breathlessness. I returned to hospital yesterday because I started getting a tingling feeling in my hands and feet and could not breathe very well. They could not find a reason for this. I'm back at home and still cannot breathe well and am really scared to walk around. All I can do is hope this will subside soon.

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Comment from: momoftwo, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: April 21

I woke up one morning and had a pain in the left shoulder. It continued down my back. Heart disease runs in my family so I thought I was having a heart attack. I went to the emergency room (ER) where they told me I had a collapsed lung. They inserted a tube in the ER and admitted me. Two days later after they shut the suction off it collapsed again. I had to go into surgery. The following day I had to undergo surgery again because I had lost 4 pints of blood. After being in the hospital for a week they sent me home. They told me the pneumothorax happened from the blebs bursting. They told me if I smoked again the right side will fall too and then I will have to go through it again. It has only been 3 weeks. I am still in a lot of pain and am going to have a bad scar on the left side. I have never been a vain person, but I am deformed for life. That is very depressing. Your body goes through so many things after you experience something like this. It is definitely something I wouldn't want anyone to go through. I have had to change my whole life. I am of average height and weight. They tell me it was all from smoking. My advice would be to never start and if you already do, quit now before it happens to you.

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Comment from: 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: March 25

I had my spontaneous pneumothorax when I was about 25. I am a male, 6'5. Doctor said it was typical for this category of age/height/gender. I am very active and workout regularly. At first I thought I pulled a pectoral, or some other muscle in my chest. Even my wife (nurse) thought that was what it was. It almost felt like heartburn at times as well. I knew it was something much more serious when I went for a run one day, made it about a mile. I literally could not run or catch my breath. That has never happened before. I went to the first doctor I could and got an x-ray. He forwarded me to the emergency room where I was having my first surgery within minutes. I had the second surgery a couple days later to 'stick' the lung to the chest cavity; this is called pleurodesis. It has been about 2 years now and no issues, just aches and pains (minor). I am running like crazy and working out hard.

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Comment from: Sunshine, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 14

I was 34 when I experienced pneumothorax in right lung. I had been having dizzy spells and shortness of breath, but explained it away with what I thought 'I was out of shape'. One morning while blow drying my hair with my head upside down, when I raised back up I could feel a clunking in my chest. It was February, but I wasn't sick; no check congestion. I decided to make an appointment to see my physician. I explained what was happening, and he decided to do an x-ray. Sure enough my lung had started collapsing from the top, around the sides, and the bottom. To make a long story short, after being hospitalized 2 times (for nearly a week both times) they 'glued' my lung so it couldn't collapse. It's now been twenty years and I'm starting to have some weird feelings; chest pain and dizziness. I have been sick with chest cold, so I'll give it a few days hoping maybe I've just pulled a muscle from coughing. If it doesn't go away I will call and make an appointment with the physician.

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Pneumothorax - Symptoms Question: What were the symptoms of your pneumothorax?
Pneumothorax - Treatment Question: Were you hospitalized for your pneumothorax? What types of treatment did you receive, including medication?

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