Patient Comments: Pneumothorax - Symptoms

What were the symptoms of your pneumothorax?

Comment from: Candice, 25-34 (Patient) Published: September 15

I had a pneumothorax on both lungs when I was 12. I had two surgeries and two chest tubes. I have pain 17 years later. Pain in my right side only. I go to the doctor and they say it is scar tissue. I just wish I didn't have pain. I am afraid of the future of my lungs. I can't be around anything not even a little dirt. I live in Phoenix so I really have the roughest time breathing here. I hope the best for everyone who hasn't lived with this long. It can be a better experience then mine.

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Comment from: Yolanda, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 13

I have pain in the left side of my chest which when I breathe I feel stronger. I am concerned it is pneumothorax.

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Comment from: Dixie, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: October 15

I went to the emergency room because my eye suddenly swelled shut. When the emergency room people touched the area, a crackling noise was heard. They told me that was the air escaping from my lung. I never had any pain or any shortness of breath.

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Comment from: KCP, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 04

I am 63 and was a smoker till the pneumothorax last week. I woke up short of breath with a racing heart and feeling as if I had been trampled in the upper and back torso. I went to see the doctor in the afternoon of day 1 and was told I was having an anxiety attack. I felt very poorly by day 3 evening and took my temperature as I felt very hot. I went to the local hospital and x-ray showed collapsed left lung. I had air pulled out of it and had oxygen during the 2.5 day stay with frequent x-rays showing the lung had almost fully expanded. I am due to go for a checkup/x-ray a week later.

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Comment from: HurtingonRight, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: May 29

First spontaneous Pneumo. About 10 years ago, left lung was 100% collapsed. Pain was intense but only in my chest and right arm. They inserted a chest tube immediately in the ER and performed surgery the following day, where they repaired the torn lung and scuffed the wall to reattach. I was in the hospital for 5 days with suction. Home treatment went OK and was back at work within a few weeks. Recently, has another spontaneous on the right side, although only 30%. The surgeon wanted to wait it out to see if it would correct itself, but after 1 week of going in for x-rays, it looks as if it was healing but the pain was far worse. After surgery again and 4 days in the hospital I was sent home. It's been 3 1/2 weeks since surgery and I still have a horrible pain in my right upper chest that is not touched by regular over the counter meds. The surgeon swears I should have no pain now. The pain is not only "internal," but hurts to even touch my chest on that side. Even hurts to have my shirt rub up against that area. hopefully going to see my regular doctor tomorrow to see if he can find anything. This was a great surgeon, but is not the best at follow up care.

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Comment from: LAM, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: May 18

I had it happen to me twice. I am a small framed female. First time I was 20 years old. I woke up in the morning for work, took a few steps out of bed and it felt like someone came up behind me and stabbed me in the back. Was in the hospital for a week with the painful chest tube. Second time it happened I was 25 years old. I was driving down the highway and got a horrible pain in my right shoulder. As the day progressed, the pain radiated down my back, arm, and chest. Though I went through hell afterwards, ended up in intensive care, and was hospitalized for 2 weeks, I have not had a reoccurrence. I am currently 43 years old. It was my right lung both times. Extremely painful and scary!!! The surgery is supposed to prevent any future episodes which I guess worked since it has been 17 years. Good luck to all who have suffered with this and are currently going through this.

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Comment from: Gazelle, 55-64 Female Published: March 30

In 1975 and 76, I suffered what they called recurrent pneumothorax about 12 all together, which would 5 on the left and 7 on the right, I would be admitted and chest tubs would be inserted to inflate my lungs but after so many trips to the hospital, my parents transferred me to a new Doctor and I had major surgeries on both lungs. Suffice it to say, my chest is scared badly but that Dr. saved my life. Today, my lungs capacity is 60% and I do understand when people say "I have trouble breathing", I have 3 puffers and because of my work location, I now have "Asbestos related lung disease" which are Pleural thickening, mild (but progressive) lung fibroses and bronchiectasis. Since my lungs are (glued) with tact powder to my pleura, it's not hard to figure what will happen in the future but for today, I am not in pain anymore but very careful. Good luck to all that have gone through this pain.

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