Patient Comments: Pneumothorax - Symptoms

What were the symptoms of your pneumothorax?

Comment from: thoraxe, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: June 01

I was 15 at the time and I was in severe pain taking a test, and I started to move. It felt a huge amount of pressure on my heart which made every step horrific. I was rushed to the emergency room and saw an x-ray that my left lung was half deflated. I spent 5 days in the hospital to recover. One year later, the same lung collapsed; 13 months later again after taking a 4 mile bike ride without noticing. I had VATS (video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery) which caused the lung to stick to the chest wall. It healed in the same amount of time but after having been in the hospital for 10 days from the lung being inflated and then the VATS. Four years since the last time and I couldn't be healthier but pains are still there, random, sometimes they are intense and sometimes they are able to be dealt with. First time it was apparent something was wrong but the second time I've had panic attacks with worst pain.

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Comment from: Will, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: February 03

I woke up to go to school, bent down and started to feel short of breath, stabbing sort of pain when I took a deep breath and pain in my shoulder. I didn't go to the emergency room until 24 hours later, where it was found to be pneumothorax, and at that point my heart was beating very fast (tachycardia) and I was getting faint from breathing fast.

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Comment from: ladygeekface, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: August 05

My left lung collapsed in 2006, and my right lung collapsed in 2008. Both times the pneumothorax happened as I was getting out of the shower. The pain started as what seemed like a muscle cramp in my back. Eventually, I had sharp pain in my back on just the one side, my shoulder, and my neck. According to the doctor, it collapsed due to air pockets on my lungs bursting. Both times it happened, I had someone drive me to the emergency room (ER) where they placed a chest tube to drain out the fluid. My lungs had already sealed the holes. I stayed in the hospital four days the first time. The second time, my lung collapsed while I still had the chest tube in, so I ended up having to stay for six days. I still have chest pains all the time that are so similar to the pain of a pneumothorax that I go to the doctor to be sure. I haven't had a pneumothorax in eight years, and I'm not really sure how to tell the pain apart anymore.

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Comment from: Concernedspouse, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: July 30

My husband had his first collapsed lung (pneumothorax) in 2002, on the right side. He could not take a deep breath and felt a tremendous stabbing pain. After being admitted in the emergency room (ER) they inserted a tube and pumped it back up. Two years later the same thing happened again. Four years later again, and they decided to perform a procedure where you scrape the lung exterior and glue it to the abdomen wall. He has pains even now and has never been himself again. He is 59 years old and pushes himself every day to lead a somewhat normal life.

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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: 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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Pneumothorax - Describe Your Experience Question: Please describe your experience with pneumothorax.
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