Patient Comments: Pneumothorax - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with pneumothorax.

Comment from: hrtldy, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 11

I had a spontaneous pneumothorax diagnosed via a chest x-ray. The symptoms were chronic cough, gasping for breath and malaise. I had, per surgeon"s view, a collapsed lung for over 2.5 months. There was jelly over the lung and trachea had moved over. Chest tube was inserted and I was put in hospital. I then had to have lung surgery to remove the jelly to try and get the lung to re-inflate. Following surgery I got crepitus. I found a black spot, which was cultured and found to be valley fever. Twelve days later lung had not re-inflated, I departed the hospital on 13th day with a mere 20% lung capacity on the right side.

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Comment from: francinescott, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 08

I just came back from the hospital. This description is right on. I had fluid drained, and surgery and had a tube attached to me to release the air. The doctors are not sure how I got the injury. I am currently recovering and will be doing follow-up this week. This is a very traumatic surgery.

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Comment from: JR44, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: March 18

I had a pneumothorax over five years ago. It took five years of my life away and it is still taking it. I have chronic pain from a dimwit who yanked a chest tube out of me before seeing if it was loose. It was actually attached inside my body. The pain was beyond description. I have been on pain medications ever since and that is another story. I am on Endocet 5/325, however I am still fighting to have the correct dose given to kill the pain I feel. Doctors size you up as an addict instead of treating you as a patient with chronic pain. I have tried many therapies and alternative medications. None worked so I am stuck on this and fighting at the same time.

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Comment from: Whitedove, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 20

I got up to go to work and was short of breath, went to work and when I bent over I could not breath at all. My work called the squad, no pain just couldn"t breathe. I had chest tube, then they took out the tube. But my lung lost air again and I was put back on tube; six days later went home. Four years later I had the same thing happening, this time lung would not keep air, so the doctors went in and super glued my lung to my ribs and stapled the holes in my lung. Twelve days later I went home and had to quit work. The bottom of my lung was so full of holes I lost the half of it. I had no pain at the time it happened, but I stay in pain now from the scars.

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Comment from: MADAmbrose, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: February 10

I have to say that (two years ago) when my left lung collapsed, it was truly the worst pain I've ever experienced. My left lung fully collapsed and I could barely breathe. I'm only 26 (was 24 at the time) and I thought I was having a heart attack. It was my left lung (so it was by my heart) and my arm was also hurting (another sign of heart attack), so I really thought I was having a heart attack. While it's rare in people my age, it's still possible. I was just so scared that it didn't matter what it was. I thought I was dying, and from what I've read here about pneumothorax, I very well could have. It just scares me to death knowing that it will probably happen again. I've been getting pains in my chest again recently. I've been to the emergency room again, but they can't/won't do anything until it actually happens. I'm horrified. I don't want to die.

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Comment from: lilyum269, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: January 29

With pneumothorax, I had my left lung collapse three times in 18 days. The first one happened, they placed a chest tube in the emergency room, it re-inflated, and I was sent home a few days later. Upon leaving the hospital my lung collapsed again. I went in the next morning n had another chest tube placed. I had to have surgery to fuse my lung and chest wall together. A few days later they pulled my chest tube from surgery and immediately collapsed my lung again. So I had one more chest tube placed and removed a few days later and since then no problems.

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Comment from: Outside-Lookin-iN, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: December 05

The first time I had a spontaneous pneumothorax I had no idea what it was and thought I may have just pulled a muscle in my chest. I waited it out and it eventually healed on its own. A few months later I woke up one day with the same pain in the left side of my chest, a few days later that same pain shot down the right side of my chest, little did I know both my lungs had collapsed. I went to the walk-in clinic, got a chest x-ray and went home. About an hour later they called me up and told me to get to the hospital right away, where I was diagnosed with a bilateral spontaneous pneumothorax. Having the chest tube inserted was probably the worst pain I've ever experienced, lying in the hospital bed with two tubes jutting out of either side of my chest was also pretty horrible. The chest tubes didn't work so I needed surgery to repair the problem, I also had a preventive surgery (pleurodesis and pleurectomy I believe) once my lungs were back up. I still have pain over a year later, but at least it's not constant.

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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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