Patient Comments: Pneumothorax - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with pneumothorax.

Comment from: e.k.b radley, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: May 01

My first pneumothorax event happened while I was painting overhead. I couldn't get my breath and had a panic attack. I went to the hospital, where the ER doctor inserted a drain tube with suction. This happened two more times within three months – always the right lung. After the third time, the doctor blew talc into a drain tube to try and “glue” my lung bulbs to my chest cavity. It lasted five weeks, and my lung collapsed 35 percent. A surgeon was called in and did a 7-hour operation. So far, no further pneumothorax, but the operation resulted in cutting large amounts of nerves from my left armpit and around my shoulder and back side. This resulted in a large amount of scar tissue, which is hard and feels like a corset on that is two sizes too small. The doctor says that is normal and prescribed pain medication. I am now on a nebulizer four times daily. I am 80 and will have this for the rest of my life.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: jmd, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: March 28

I have had a total of five pneumothoraxes in both lungs and surgeries on both lungs. My last surgery was seven years ago. I've been able to live a healthy, active life. Lately, my left lung has been bugging me. I can't sleep on that side, I can "feel" it when I breathe lying down, and sometimes I have quite a bit of pain in that area (thought I know it's not collapsed). Also, my chest is always "popping" into place. Have any of you experienced these symptoms or heard of it happening? I am dragging my feet going to the doctor because I don't want another surgery.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: Cparrish, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: January 13

I pray that anyone with a history of pneumothorax is under the care of a specialist. My brother, 57, had a collapsed lung in October of 2002 and again in March 2003. He stopped smoking after the first incident but had to have surgery to bond the thinning tissue after the second collapse. In July of 2003, he started coughing violently, and by the time paramedics arrived got, it was too late. They were not able to get the tube down this blocked throat to incubate.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: dunesgrl1, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: January 13

This occurred with me when I was having a surgery for T.O.S (thoracic outlet syndrome). My surgeon bumped my lung with the rib bone he was taking out. After they repaired that, I had a tube out the side of my chest. It didn't bother me, until they took it out. That was extremely painful. For a month after, I would wake up in the night gasping for breath, unable to breathe. I don't know if it was my own fear of being unable to breathe or a symptom. It has been eight years, and I still only have 50% lung capacity. I have a lot of problems breathing. If I had been told to do breathing exercises immediately after, I think it may have helped more. I also now use an inhaler. If I don't I cough all the time. Doctors need to educate their patients on what to do after this has happened for a better outcome. Also we must ask more instead of assuming. I'm only 40 and really wish I could breathe normal again.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: Joshnd, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: January 13

I had my first spontaneous pneumothorax two years ago. It felt as if someone had stabbed a knife straight through the upper left side of my back. The doctor told me I'd have to have follow up appointments for five months and then do the surgery to fix it. I went to a conference and got prayed for, and the blood of Jesus fixed in five days what the doctors said would take five months. I went back to the doctor five days later, and he told me I didn't need to do any follow-up appointments. "The prayer offered in faith will make the sick man well."

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: baxleytina, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: January 13

I had a pneumothorax about four years ago. I'm doing OK, but I get chest pains often, and I have heavy breathing. I tire a lot and easily. My lung collapsed on its own, and I was in the hospital twice for it, within a few weeks of each other.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: takingiteasy, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: January 13

I experienced a spontaneous pneumothorax about 14 years ago. I had a sharp pain in my upper right chest and went to the ER to get it checked out. I was released but was called back to the hospital about half an hour later and immediately was put in a room and had a chest tube put in. I was told that my lung had collapsed 30%. I stayed at this hospital for about a week with a chest tube and drainage system until they realized it wasn't working. I was then sent to another hospital where I underwent surgery the next morning after being admitted. I was cut open under my right arm (where I have suffered extensive nerve damage), and they stapled my lung back together after it had torn. Another chest tube was inserted along the right side of my ribs. I remained in the hospital for another week where they had me do coughing exercises -- and they hurt! I have experienced the sensation like I've been punched in the chest and had the wind knocked out of me since this, but this hasn't resulted in any other pneumothorax issues.

Was this comment helpful?Yes

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

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?

Patient Comments are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on MedicineNet. The opinions expressed in the comments section are of the author and the author alone. MedicineNet does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.

Alert If you think you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.