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What happens if your lung collapses?

It may be caused by a blocked airway (obstructive) or pressure from outside (non-obstructive).

Causes for obstructive atelectasis are:

  • Mucus buildup – secretions collect in the airways due to infections or surgery
  • Infection – bacterial viral or fungal Infection in the lungs can scar and disrupt the airflow
  • Foreign objects – accidental inhalation of small objects
  • Tumor – abnormal growth in the airway can block the airflow to lung
  • Blood clot – clot due to excessive bleeding can block the airway

Causes for non-obstructive atelectasis are:

  • Pleural effusion – Accumulation of fluid in the space outside the lungs, inside the chest cavity (Pleural space) can press on the airways, causing the collapse
  • Pneumothorax – injuries in the lungs that causes air to leak into Pleural space
  • Tumor of the chest wall,pleura or lung parenchyma
  • Pneumonia – A lung Infection
  • Surfactant deficiency

Risk factors include:

  • Age – older age
  • Confined to bed (bed-ridden)
  • Any recent major surgery of abdomen or chest
  • Lung diseases such as Asthma, COPD

PreventionPrevention

  • Encourage movement and deep breathing in anyone who is bedridden for long periods
  • Do not keep small objects at young children’s reach
  • Breathe deeply after anesthesia

ComplicationsComplications

The prolonged condition might lead to

  • Low blood oxygen (hypoxemia): Atelectasis hampers the ability of lungs to get oxygen into the alveoli
  • Pneumonia: Mucus in collapsed lungs can lead to infection. There is a greater risk of pneumonia if the atelectasis is not cleared
  • Respiratory failure: In severe cases, loss of lobe or whole lung can be life threatening
  • Sepsis: Widespread infection that can be life threatening

What are the treatment options?What diet is recommended?How is this diagnosed?For informational purposes only. Consult a medical professional for advice.Reviewed by a panel of doctors. Source: Focus Medica. Was this helpful?

  • People also askHow do you repair a collapsed lung?How do you repair a collapsed lung?Some collapsed lung patients may need surgery to repair damage to the area of the lung from which the air is escaping. Surgery also may be performed to help prevent a future pneumothorax from occurring. Several surgical options are available, ranging from opening the chest cavity to a less invasive thoracoscopy.

    Symptoms

    Mild cases show no signs and symptoms. However, symptoms develop when a large part of the lung is affected. Commonly seen symptoms are:

    • Difficulty in breathing (dyspnea)
    • Rapid, shallow breathing
    • Chest pain
    • Coughing

    CausesCauses

    It may be caused by a blocked airway (obstructive) or pressure from outside (non-obstructive).

    Causes for obstructive atelectasis are:

    • Mucus buildup – secretions collect in the airways due to infections or surgery
    • Infection – bacterial viral or fungal Infection in the lungs can scar and disrupt the airflow
    • Foreign objects – accidental inhalation of small objects
    • Tumor – abnormal growth in the airway can block the airflow to lung
    • Blood clot – clot due to excessive bleeding can block the airway

    Causes for non-obstructive atelectasis are:

    • Pleural effusion – Accumulation of fluid in the space outside the lungs, inside the chest cavity (Pleural space) can press on the airways, causing the collapse
    • Pneumothorax – injuries in the lungs that causes air to leak into Pleural space
    • Tumor of the chest wall,pleura or lung parenchyma
    • Pneumonia – A lung Infection
    • Surfactant deficiency

    Risk factors include:

    • Age – older age
    • Confined to bed (bed-ridden)
    • Any recent major surgery of abdomen or chest
    • Lung diseases such as Asthma, COPD

    PreventionPrevention

    • Encourage movement and deep breathing in anyone who is bedridden for long periods
    • Do not keep small objects at young children’s reach
    • Breathe deeply after anesthesia

    ComplicationsComplications

    The prolonged condition might lead to

    • Low blood oxygen (hypoxemia): Atelectasis hampers the ability of lungs to get oxygen into the alveoli
    • Pneumonia: Mucus in collapsed lungs can lead to infection. There is a greater risk of pneumonia if the atelectasis is not cleared
    • Respiratory failure: In severe cases, loss of lobe or whole lung can be life threatening
    • Sepsis: Widespread infection that can be life threatening

    What are the treatment options?What diet is recommended?How is this diagnosed?For informational purposes only. Consult a medical professional for advice.Reviewed by a panel of doctors. Source: Focus Medica. Was this helpful?How do you repair a collapsed lung? Some collapsed lung patients may need surgery to repair damage to the area of the lung from which the air is escaping. Surgery also may be performed to help prevent a future pneumothorax from occurring. Several surgical options are available, ranging from opening the chest cavity to a less invasive thoracoscopy.

    What is the prognosis for a collapsed lung? The prognosis of pneumothorax depends on its cause. For a spontaneous pneumothorax, there is an increased risk for another collapsed lung in the future. If no tension is present, the condition is easily treated by removal of the air, which reexpands the lung and returns lung function to normal after a few days.

    What is the survival rate of collapsed lung? Survival rate of collaped rate is generally good. 50% cases resolving automatically, though the condition is recurred often. If the collapse is due to mucus plug obstructing air ways, resolution is good Survival is good. If it’s a begnine tumor causes it, relief rate is 50%.

    Can collapsed lung heal itself? A collapsed lung in medical terms is called a pneumothorax. A small-scale collapsed lung, called a minor pneumothorax, in a healthy person may just heal on its own. The lung reinflates on its own after healing itself.

    Procedures

    Procedures

    Also known as intercostal tube drain or pig tail catheter is performed to remove excess air. A tube is inserted between ribs and pressed on the collapsed area.

    Chemical compounds are injected through the tube into the pleural space which causes mechanical scarring of the tissue hence preventing recurrences.

    Surgery is performed using a small optic fiber camera. Leaking blebs are identified and closed off.

    Specialist to consult Specializes in diagnosing and treating conditions that affect the respiratory system.What are the causes?What are some prevention tips?How is this diagnosed?What are the complications?For informational purposes only. Consult a medical professional for advice.Reviewed by a panel of doctors. Source: Focus Medica. Was this helpful?Can collapsed lung heal itself? A collapsed lung in medical terms is called a pneumothorax. A small-scale collapsed lung, called a minor pneumothorax, in a healthy person may just heal on its own. The lung reinflates on its own after healing itself.

    What is the prognosis for a collapsed lung? The prognosis of pneumothorax depends on its cause. For a spontaneous pneumothorax, there is an increased risk for another collapsed lung in the future. If no tension is present, the condition is easily treated by removal of the air, which reexpands the lung and returns lung function to normal after a few days.

    What is the treatment for a collapsed lung? Severe low blood pressure will occur, and if not treated, the condition can be fatal. Treatment for a severe collapsed lung consists of the removal of the trapped air through a needle inserted into the chest area. The needle is attached to a tube, and decompression removes the air from the chest cavity.

    What are partially collapsed lung symptoms? Symptoms for partially collapsed lung can include: severe chest pains, breathing problems and coughing. Anyone experiencing any one of these symptoms should consult a physician.