Patient Comments: Pneumothorax - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with pneumothorax.

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

I woke up with spontaneous pneumothorax, it got worse as I fed the horses in cold weather, shortness of breath and felt like a ton of bricks sitting on my chest. Pain all subsided when I lay down, I didn't go to the doctor until the following day, they had to insert the chest tube, called a procedure in the ER. That hurt, the tube in there was very uncomfortable but worked. Removal was quick but painful too. Glad to have it out though. Former smoker, but I quit and thought my lungs would rejuvenate! I have a very severe case of scoliosis also, and blame every ailment on it. I'm a 50 yr old female.

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Comment from: trackstand, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: January 13

I am 21 and recovering from my second pneumothorax. The first was 50% on the right; the second 30% on the left, but I opted for the preventative surgery after the second one. I also got a lung resection/reduction on the left side for some cysts that kept my lung from closing up and making it collapse all over again. I am an athlete, a student, and my job as a messenger required me to be very physical and ride a bike. Right now, all those things hang in the balance of whether the preventative surgery takes. Based on the last X-ray, I have a residual pneumothorax that's complicating the efficacy of the surgery. By the way, for those who get their lungs stapled, such as myself, the cold air can be unnerving for a while. This article should mention more about the VATS surgery.

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Comment from: KC, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: December 08

I am still recovering from a spontaneous pneumothorax. I was home for six days with a tube in my chest, which was not fun. After that did not work, I went in for surgery where they removed a part of my lung and scuffed up my chest wall to re-stick the lung to the wall. Apparently, spontaneous pneumothorax can be hereditary. My dad, my brother, and I have all had it; the only difference was that I had it on my left side, and they had it on their right side. If you experience any symptoms, go to the ER right away!

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Comment from: chipUSMC, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: November 29

I was recently unfortunately able to experience a pneumothorax. I fell down some stairs, fracturing three ribs and collapsing my lung. When I got to the hospital, the lung was 20% collapsed. By the time I was seen, it had gotten to 75% collapsed. A chest tube was placed. A couple days later, I was released and went home. I had many problems in the days to come. The Percocet wasn't enough to treat the pain. After going to the hospital a number of times, I was finally put on Dilaudid.

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Comment from: Genie, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 16

The symptom that I had when I experienced a spontaneous pneumothorax was a sharp back pain in my upper right back. Though initially it was extremely painful, which led me to the emergency room, the pain abated. That almost caused me to leave the hospital without being checked. By the time the triage nurse got to me, my right lung was completely collapsed and the left lung had only 35% capacity. I think it is important to mention that a symptom could be back pain as well.

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Comment from: Jeff O, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: September 30

Recently, I was diagnosed and treated for a spontaneous pneumothorax. While the chest tube was in place (very painful), I was as active as I could be. I went walking as often as I could. What I felt happened and made my condition worse was that I felt the pain increase as if the tube was rubbing against the inner wall of my chest. My advice is to stay still, and let the chest tube do its thing.

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Comment from: Roz, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: January 08

I have had 4 kids, so I have a high pain tolerance, but the pain I went through caused by pneumothorax was a pain I hope that I never have to go through again.

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Comment from: Jack, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: October 08

I use a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) for sleep apnea. I awoke recently about 2am with pain in my chest and coughing. I was diagnosed with a collapsed lung (pneumothorax).

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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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