A very close friend of mine had spontaneous pneumothorax (collapsed lung). Other than that he is pretty healthy.
He had it the first time last year and a second time in the beginning of June this year. He had a surgery performed in which the collapsed part of the lung is stapled I believe.
Anyway, today he went for another X-Ray after the returned home from the hospital. The X-Ray doesn't look good. It looks like there is some fluid build up in the lung where the procedure was performed. His doctor is not available today and he and his mother are freaking out. His doctor might be able to see hm only on Monday.
I am trying to help by providing some comfort or finding information online that would be of any help.
In plain English the question is if his life is in immediate danger and if he should seek an emergency room.
Anything more than a small amount of fluid, post-surgery, would be cause for concern, but of itself, not life threatening. The cause/nature of the fluid, and the presence or absence of symptoms such as fever, pleurisy, shortness of breath etc., would be an important determinant of the urgency of seeking medical assistance. For example, if any of the symptoms just mentioned were present or if there were other signs of infected fluid, that would be a medical emergency. At the other extreme, if it were a small amount of fluid seen on a routine follow-up X-ray, in the absence of any symptoms, he could safely wait a couple days to see his doctor.
I hope that your friend was seen by his doctor yesterday and that, after a careful evaluation, the fluid was deemed to not reflect a serious complication. In this circumstance there are no absolutes as to treatment based only on the presence of fluid. One must rely on the physician’s clinical judgment, ideally on the judgment of the physician who performed the surgery, rather than an emergency room physician.
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