collapsed lung recovery

collapsed lung recovery


If you have a lung collapse or pneumothorax and you want to know about it, if you want to know what a lung collapse recovery is, if you want to know how long the recovery period and pneumothorax recovery is, we recommend that you read on.


What you will read next:



What causes lung collapse?

What are the risk factors for lung collapse?

What are the types of lung collapse?

What causes lung collapse to worsen?

What are the complications of lung collapse?

What are the common symptoms of lung collapse?




Lung collapse recovery

Follow up with your doctor





The term pneumothorax, which doctors use instead of lung collapse, is a condition that occurs when air enters the pleural space.

The pleural space is the space between your chest wall and the surface tissue inside your chest, when air is trapped in this area the pressure inside the space of this small space rises and causes pressure on the adjacent lung tissue and the adjacent lung to overlap on top of each other.

This pressure prevents adequate and complete expansion of the lungs during inhalation and can cause chest pain and shortness of breath.

Here's everything you need to know about lung collapse as well as recovery after pneumothorax treatment:


What causes lung collapse?

Here are some of the most common causes of lung collapse or pneumothorax:

  1. The presence of a mucous mass, a tumor, or something else that is inside the chest and has spread to the lungs.
  2. Swelling and enlargement of the abdomen
  3. Conditions are like the pilot of a fighter plane experiencing high speed.
  4. Driving accidents, falling, and being stabbed and penetrating objects
  5. Surfactant deficiency occurs in premature infants and adults with prolonged oxygen therapy or mechanical ventilation.

Surfactant is a fluid that covers the inner surface of the lung alveoli and prevents them from collapsing.

  1. Using large amounts of opioids or sedatives
  2. Smoking
  3. Close very tight bandages
  4. Chest and upper abdominal surgeries
  5. And the last cause is scarring, as well as the contraction of the membrane covering the lungs and inside the chest, which occurs after exposure to a chemical called asbestos.


What are the risk factors for lung collapse?

  1. Having asthma
  2. Pneumonia
  3. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  4. Vascular collagen diseases
  5. Cystic fibrosis (cf)
  6. Emphysema
  7. Presence of endometriosis or similar tissues of the inner wall of the uterus in the chest and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis


What are the types of lung collapse?

  1. primary spontaneous pneumothorax:

In these cases, air will enter your pleural space through a hole made in the respiratory tract itself. This hole may be caused by an abscess, infection, or lung emphysema or asthma.

  1. Spontaneous secondary pneumothorax:

In this case, air enters the pleural space through a hole made in the wall of the chest or diaphragm. This type of collapse or pneumothorax occurs following trauma to the chest or penetrating wounds such as stab and bullet wounds, etc.

  1. Spontaneous pneumothorax

Small air sacs form in the lungs as a result of asthma, abscesses and lung infections, as well as scuba diving or flying at high altitudes and non-standard stretching, and pneumothorax occurs spontaneously when the small air sac ruptures. Usually, the people who have this problem are healthy people and often it may not even have a specific cause.


What causes lung collapse to worsen?

    • Chest injuries
    • Chronic diseases of the respiratory system, especially the lungs
    • Smoking
    • Diving
    • Flying at very high altitudes
    • Cancers
    • Physical stretching and strenuous exercise


What are the complications of lung collapse?

Usually, when a small lung collapse occurs, no special care is needed and it heals on its own, However, if the collapse and overlap of the lungs is very widespread or occurs in middle-aged and elderly people who have underlying lung damage and lung disorders such as asthma, emphysema and chronic bronchitis, etc., it can lead to respiratory failure. And become critical and life-threatening conditions.


What are the common symptoms of lung collapse?

The following are some of the symptoms commonly experienced by a person with pneumothorax:

The severity of symptoms varies from person to person.

Symptom severity according to:

  • Lung collapse rate
  • Extent
  • Underlying disease

will be very variable.

Symptoms may not come on suddenly when pneumothorax develops slowly.

  • Symptoms are as follows:
  • Shortness of breath
  • Stabbing pain in the chest area that may spread to the shoulders and all over your chest and abdomen.
  • Dry cough one by one



Possible side effects include fluid retention in the lungs, recurrent lung infections, and pneumothorax that will require surgery.



The doctor goes for a simple X-ray of the chest to diagnose, which can detect the collapse of the lungs and roughly determine the size of the pneumothorax.

The person should be asked about the history of underlying diseases.

Arterial blood gas testing may also be needed to measure blood oxygen and carbon dioxide levels. If carbon dioxide levels are higher than normal and oxygen levels are lower, it may be a sign of lung collapse.

If a simple chest x-ray does not show a positive result, a CT scan of the chest may be needed.



Treatment for lung collapse will depend on the underlying cause of the collapse, the size of the pneumothorax, and the severity of the disease.

Here are some options for the treatment process and we will explain them in the following:


observation and follow up:

If the lung collapse is very small and there are no clinical symptoms and the patient does not have such an underlying disease, the lungs may heal on their own. In these cases, the patient should consult his doctor closely to see the symptoms of respiratory problems.

Consecutive counseling sessions should be scheduled for a visit and recovery conditions by a physician.


Second modality) Complementary oxygen therapy:

If the lung collapse is small, the patient may only need extra oxygen. Patients should be examined to see if the condition of their lungs is constant or variable.

X-rays or CT scans may be used again (except for baseline chest radiographs).


Third treatment modality) Needle aspiration:

A special needle is attached to the syringe and inserted into the chest cavity to allow air to escape through the suction.


Chest tube:

If the lungs collapse too large and the patient has underlying respiratory problems or respiratory symptoms, a small plastic tube is inserted into the space between the ribs and expels air, which reduces the volume of the lungs and the lungs regain their volume.

Imaging techniques such as ultrasound may be used to guide the intubation in the chest.


Fourth modality) open thoracotomy treatment:

An incision is made in the chest, allowing a catheter or tube to be inserted into the chest to allow air to escape under suction pressure.


Fifth modality) VATS therapy:

Thoracic surgery with the help of low-invasive video thoracoscopy, in which a small camera or thoracoscope and surgical instruments are inserted into the lungs and chest through one or more small incisions, and while the surgeon observes the tissue closely, he or she can remove part of the tissue with the help of available tools.


Sixth modality) Chemical pleurodesis:

A chemical stimulant is poured into the pleural space to attach to the outside of the chest so that the lungs no longer collapse.


Seventh Therapeutic Modality) Mechanical Pleurodesis:

It is performed surgically and uses dry gas implants to attach the collapsed part of the lung to the chest wall.

In this way, the lung tissue is prevented from overlapping.

If the above methods are used but the appropriate therapeutic response is not found, and if the lung collapse recurs, the physician may recommend surgical treatment. Patients who have suffered lung injuries following accidental blows and penetration, or have secondary pneumothorax may need surgery.

Also, the cases in which surgery may be suggested include the following:

If the air leak lasts more than 7 days.


Lung collapse recovery

When a lung collapse occurs, it takes 6 to 8 weeks for it to fully recover. However, the recovery time can also depend on the underlying cause of the pneumothorax and the type of injury that caused the pneumothorax.

Interestingly, lung collapse can improve on its own, and your doctor may want to track the progress of lung collapse.

The piled-up lung tissue needs time to reacceptance.

As mentioned in the treatment section, a tube or needle may be needed to evacuate air from the space between the outer surface of the lungs and the inner wall of your chest.

When pneumothorax or lung collapse occurs, you can inhale but your lungs cannot expand as much as their normal time.

It is said that there is no way to prevent lung collapse, after your recovery period, know that smoking increases the risk of lung collapse. So Quit smoking and avoid air travel for up to a week after the lung collapse has completely disappeared. You should know that diving should be permanently canceled.


Follow up with your doctor

You should contact your doctor regularly, especially if you have a respiratory disorder or lung disease, you should see your doctor regularly.

Pneumothorax can occur after lung surgery. Patients should be able to take deep breaths, cough regularly, and walk and move as soon as possible. Certain exercises, such as changing positions to help drain lung secretions or incentive spirometer, can help them through the recovery period.

If you have a condition in which the chest area or nerve fibers have been deformed during surgery or injuries and it make it difficult for you to breathe, your doctor may need to use an assisted breathing device that continuously transmits positive air pressure and oxygen to your lungs through your nose or face masks, and also ensures that the airways do not overlap or collapse even between breathing pauses. In rare cases, a mechanical respirator may be needed.

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