Patient Comments: Pneumothorax - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with pneumothorax.

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.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
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.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
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.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
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).

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: tom tom, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 20

I began having chest pains and difficulty breathing. I was taken into hospital and had a tube put in within 10 minutes of me arriving, and remained in for 48 hours. Doctors did a chest X-ray and told me my lung was fully inflated. Six hours later after my X-ray I suddenly felt i was gasping for air again. I had another chest X-ray, and to my surprise I was told my lung had collapsed again. Once again, I had to go through that horribly painful procedure of having the tube put back in to inflate my lung again. This time they kept it in for three days and once again, all seemed fine. About an hour after another X-ray the doctors came and told me that it was collapsing once again. I'm waiting on a specialist at the moment to see if he is prepared to do a operation on my lung.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: JC23, 45-54 Male Published: June 12

Ruined my life. The hospital I ended up at made several critical errors causing extreme nerve damage. I now take narcotics everyday and they don't work much of the time. Before this i would not even take a tylenol. I have tried everything to try to eradicate this pain to no end. That seems to be when the pain will stop as it has driven me crazy .Aside from that being told by my Doctor, who I had to fight for pain killers from just to function. Last option is an injection which can guessed it, another pneumothorax. I would not be able to handle that.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: tydee, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: May 03

I was told I had pneumothorax after going to the emergency room one day. I went to see a doctor in April 2012 and told him I was having chest pain on my left side. He advised that it could be a muscle strain and gave me ibuprofen and sent me on my way. Two months later in June, the pains got worse and it started shooting down my left arm and I was short of breath walking up stairs. I went to the emergency room and they told me I had a spontaneous pneumothorax. They gave me oxygen and hydrocodone and sent me on my way. Since then, I have been having chest pain here and there, still have shortness of breath, and still have a rapid heart rate. Even when I stand for a long time my left shoulder starts to hurt (weird, I know). This didn't happen before and doctors can't explain what it is. I went to check on these symptoms again and the doctor says I am OK. I worry about it happening again.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
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

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.