Patient Comments: Pneumothorax - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with pneumothorax.

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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Comment from: B.w-l, Male (Patient) Published: December 12

I went clubbing one night and after dancing for 5 hours straight, I noticed a pain in my chest which quickly spread to my back and shoulders. Initially I thought that I was going to have a heart attack as I could feel my heart pulsing pretty heavily. Stupidly, I waved it off and walked for 30 minutes with these symptoms to get home. This then happened a week later when I consumed a tin of beer as I was about to go on stage and perform with my band; again I felt a tightness in my chest and also short of breath so I went to the hospital Accident and Emergency to get an x-ray and was diagnosed with a pneumothorax. Luckily they said that the lung only had a small rip in it, so it didn't need operating on and that it would heal in its own time. Ever since the x-ray (which was 6 days ago) I have been feeling really dizzy which has also brought on a loss of appetite. I am a healthy person and have only smoked a few times in my life so this was pretty much of out of the blue for me. Hopefully this won't happen again and affect my future career as a musician.

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Comment from: Jenny0222, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: October 29

I went to the hospital about two weeks ago now for a biopsy on a lump on my breast and the doctor went to do the last biopsy and hit my lung. I was rushed to Accident and Emergency where they found a large pneumothorax. I am only 27 years old and I now cannot do any working out or play any sports. I have 3 children and I find it hard to run around for them. I hope that I will never have to go through that pain again.

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Comment from: Shany, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: September 16

I got spontaneous pneumothorax when I was 21 years old. My lungs felt a little heavy when I walked and jumped, I had some pain in my upper back, so it seemed and I thought I pulled a muscle or something. I didn't think it was anything serious and I didn't go to a doctor for about a week. My doctor called me after seeing my chest x-ray and told me to go to the emergency room immediately. Silly me, I said, 'do you think I can go in 3 hours because I don't have a ride.' My doctor said I must go now, so I found a ride and went. I got a chest tube that night and was admitted into the hospital. Innocently, I thought I could leave the next day. However, the first tube wasn't the correct tube to insert. And it came out so I had to get another one the next day. Thanks to that I have two scars on my right chest. I ended up staying for 5 days. No one knew the reason why this happened, told me it occurs randomly in males with a long chest or in those who smoke. I do not fit in that category. Hopefully, I never get it again. Stay healthy my friends.

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Comment from: ramosm, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: May 09

I had my spontaneous pneumothorax 7 months ago. What happened to me is this: I was at the gym on Labor Day and tried lifting 90 lb. weight for my shoulder. Then I started to have a pain on my right side, I was thinking that I just pulled out some muscle and I asked my co-worker to stretch me out but it got worse. I started to have that spasm or sharp pain on my right side and my co-worker told me that I looked pale. I told my co-worker to go to the front desk because I was starting to have a shortness of breath. So they called 911 and brought me to the emergency room (ER) then they did some x-ray and found out that my right lung had collapsed. I had to stay at the hospital for surgery, they did VATS (video assisted thoracic surgery) bleb resection and mechanical pleurodesis. I had 2 tubes when I got out of the operating room. After a week my surgeon stop by and told me that there's still leaking in my tubes and the fastest way to do it is to send me back to operation room (OR) again. Take note my surgeon didn"t know why I still had the leaking. So I decided to go back to the ER because I wanted it to be done and get out of the hospital. Second surgery they did was thoracotomy on my right side. And that was so painful afterwards I could barely move, but after 2 weeks I got discharged.

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Pneumothorax - Symptoms Question: What were the symptoms of your pneumothorax?
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