A spontaneous pneumothorax is the sudden onset of a collapsed lung without any apparent cause, such as a traumatic injury to the chest or a known lung disease. A collapsed lung is caused by the collection of air in the space around the lungs. Primary spontaneous pneumothorax is likely due to the formation of small sacs of air (blebs) in lung tissue that rupture, causing air to leak into the pleural space. Air in the pleural space creates pressure on the lung and can lead to its collapse. Primary spontaneous pneumothorax is a common disorder occurring in young adults without underlying lung disease. Although tobacco smoking is a well-documented risk factor for spontaneous pneumothorax, an association between electronic cigarette use (that is, vaping) and spontaneous pneumothorax has not been noted. A pneumothorax can be caused by: Chest injury. Any blunt or penetrating injury to your chest can cause lung collapse. Lung disease. Damaged lung tissue is more likely to collapse. Ruptured air blisters. Small air blisters (blebs) can develop on the top of the lungs. Mechanical ventilation. Causes vary depending on the type of pneumothorax. Spontaneous pneumothorax, meanwhile, may be caused by a foreign body in the lung, lung cancer or abscess, lung disease caused by parasites, or the development of blister-like structures in the dog's lungs, known as pulmonary bullae.
A blebectomy or wedge resection of the lung parenchyma (containing the bleb) and apical or total pleurectomy or talc pleurodesis stand out as having the highest chance of preventing recurrences with no increase in morbidity .
Pneumothorax is usually treated with removal of air under pressure, by inserting a needle attached to a syringe into the chest cavity. A chest tube may be used and left in place for several days. In some cases, surgery may be needed.
Traumatic pneumothorax Potential causes include blunt trauma or an injury that damages the chest wall and pleural space. One of the most common ways this occurs is when someone fractures a rib. The sharp points of the broken bone can puncture the chest wall and damage lung tissue.
Pneumothorax patients may be included in a high-risk group of severe stress, particularly elderly patients, who can be more fragile and therefore more at risk from a pneumothorax or its related treatment. Pneumothorax is an irritating disease with a high recurrence rate that may require frequent ED visits.
If there's only a small amount of air trapped in the pleural space, as can be the case in a spontaneous pneumothorax, it can often heal on its own if there have been no further complications. More serious cases that involve larger volumes of air can become fatal if left untreated.
A small pneumothorax in a healthy adult may heal in a few days without treatment. Otherwise, recovery from a collapsed lung generally takes 1 or 2 weeks.
When air sacs become deflated because of atelectasis, they cannot inflate properly or take in enough air and oxygen. If enough of the lung is affected, your blood may not receive enough oxygen, which can cause health problems. Atelectasis often develops after surgery.
What are the signs and symptoms of pneumothorax? chest pain that usually has a sudden onset. The pain is sharp and may lead to feelings of tightness in the chest. Shortness of breath, rapid heart rate, rapid breathing, cough, and fatigue are other symptoms of pneumothorax.
Surgery for pneumothorax In cases where a chest tube doesn't work, your doctor might need to do lung surgery to close off the air leak. We call this surgery “thoracoscopy" or VATS (Video-assisted Thoracic Surgery). During thoracoscopy, the doctor will give you medicine to make you sleep.
Diagnosis. A pneumothorax is generally diagnosed using a chest X-ray. In some cases, a computerized tomography (CT) scan may be needed to provide more-detailed images. Ultrasound imaging also may be used to identify a pneumothorax.
The short answer is yes, you should be able to return to running once the pneumothorax is fixed and healed. Here's what happens when a lung collapses: There is a membrane surrounding the lungs called the pleura. The pleura helps your lungs expand and contract smoothly when you breathe.
A small pneumothorax may go away on its own over time. You may only need oxygen treatment and rest. The provider may use a needle to allow the air to escape from around the lung so it can expand more fully. You may be allowed to go home if you live near the hospital.
Crackles are heard when collapsed or stiff alveoli snap open, as in pulmonary fibrosis. Wheezes are commonly associated with asthma and diminished breath sounds with neuromuscular disease. Breath sounds will be decreased or absent over the area of a pneumothorax.