Collapsed Lung...anyone care to share experiences... please

This concerns my little brother and I’m driving myself mad, Googling for information… please if anyone can tell me their “good news” story… or whatever.

It is very difficult/worrying when he is in UK and I am here in France…:thinking:

How long does it take to recover… ?

Side effects, if any…?

What causes it to happen… ?

I imagine @anon88169868 may have some insight Stella.

I hope someone can help you. :hugs:

My GP sent me for an X-ray four years ago when I found I couldn’t walk more than a few yards without stopping to rest. The X-ray confirmed my right lung had “collapsed” and I was kept in hospital (in Scotland) overnight. They carried out the procedure next day. It involved jamming a needle into my chest cavity and sucking out 800cc or air that had built up around the lung, stopping it from inflating. Stayed in hospital for one or two nights (I forget which) and my consultant told me after another X-ray that I now had the lungs of an Olympic athlete. Whatever caused the collapse had apparently healed itself. Four years on and no further problems. My surgeon said it was difficult to pin down the cause of a lung collapse but suggested I quit smoking. Still working on that. The only impact was no flying for six months after the procedure and no scuba diving. I assume some cases will be more serious/difficult to treat and a recurrence is always a possibility. A friend of mine had a collapsed lung about 40 years ago and there has been no recurrence. I’m sure your brother is in good hands.


Thanks for the info Al … interesting about no flying though… he is hoping to still be able to do a planned trip up a river in Portugal at the end of June… looks like that will be a no-no… ooops

He sees his Oncologist on 23rd June and hopefully they will also organize x-rays etc… he is determined to do the trip, but, who knows…:thinking::relaxed:

If he really is determined, and it has to be Portugal, he could take a ferry to Northern Spain (either Bilbao or Santander). I’ve done the sailing from Portsmouth to Bilbao and it’s a lovely way to get there. The route is run by Brittany Ferries now, it was P&O when I went.

An alternative is to spend time with big sis. Can he get the train to you?

1 Like

Ha ha… I drive him mad… I’m much too cheerful for him… :roll_eyes: although he always turns to me in times of trouble… :wink:

I’m waiting to see if he is well enough to make the Onc appointment… he sounded dreadful yesterday… we’re taking it one day at a time… :relaxed: The trip has been the light at the end of his tunnel, so to speak for the last 2 years …and I’m not going to be the one to dash his hopes.

1 Like

Oh my goodness, he does sound poorly. Not surprising you are worried. I guess all you can do is support him and hope for the best. :hugs:

“Collapsed lungs” or more properly pneumothorax can occur for several reasons - including spontaneously with no underlying lung problem, especially in young, slim, males.

Small ones with no underlying lung problems may well need no treatment and they will resolve on their own.

You might find this page helpful for a fuller explanation

As for advice following pneumothorax the British Thoracic Society has guidelines which are summarised here

Hi Paul… yes, I’ve read these, but my brother’s case seems more complicated…

Everything is so long-winded in UK…in Guys he was well-treated, but since they sent him home (where he lives alone) the support has been dreadful. … one foul-up after another.

I phoned him today and he could hardly catch enough breath to speak… yet the Doc (by phone) reckons he won’t need a check-up until Monday…

Neither of us have any idea if what he is feeling/suffering is normal or not…

1 Like

If he can’t speak full sentences and is getting worse then he should attend an Emergency Department, if getting more short of breath quickly, 999 would be appropriate as he might have developed a tension pneumothorax which is a different kettle of sardines altogether (and a genuine medical emergency).

1 Like

Thanks for the advice… I’ll get straight onto it…

1 Like

I’m assuming that he was previously fit and has actually got worse than when he left hospital?

He is suffering with cancer… but Guys are sure that the cancer is nothing to do with the collapsed lung. I’ve just messaged him with your thoughts ( he says thanks, by the way. ) He reckons that he is actually breathing slightly better. ( :thinking: ) but he knows now what to do if he reckons it is any worse.

My daughter is visiting him tomorrow… I will be grateful for her report… :hugs:

1 Like

OK, that does make things a bit more complex and makes it even more impossible to offer safe advice 2nd hand via an internet forum so I will refrain from doing so (I hope that you will understand) except to say, as above, if your brother or family think things are getting worse do not think that, just because he left hospital recently, he should not go back to A&E for reassessment.

1 Like

I very much appreciate your thoughts… I am almost at my wits’ end, as I am sure you understand.


1 Like

What a nightmare situation Stella. You truly have my sympathies. I know you can’t go to him so it must be comforting to know your daughter is able to visit. I hope he gets the help he needs to get well.


It is difficult because if I were to dash over there… he would assume he was dying and give up all hope… :relaxed::thinking:

1 Like

Oh no Stella that’s terrible - I hope he gets sorted out soon.
When my grandfather was 75 or so he slipped and fell in the snow in Megève and thought nothing of it, dusted himslf down, got in his car and drove home to st Tropez. On arrival he felt grotty so went to A&E as it was night tile and they discovered he’d broken 3 ribs, punctured and collapsed one of his lungs. He was fine after a bit.


Off topic, but I won a load of money in the casino in Megeve a long time ago :grin:

1 Like

Hi Mark… lovely to go off topic now and again… and your post really started my day with a smile.

Now… I have to ask… what did you do with the money ?? …and if there is any left, my address is *&^%$£ :relaxed:

1 Like