Help! I am a non-smoker and suffered my 1st tension pneumo (right) in 1993, and a second a few weeks later with a VATS surgery. Not much fun! All was good until the fall of 2006 when I had a 3rd collapse of about 30%. A chest tube was not used since I wasn't in huge distress. A CT scan indicated that while the collapse healed, a small bleb remained. We also tested for alpha-1 trypsin deficiency = negative. A thoracic surgeon indicated that another collapse would warrant a 2nd surgery. In January I started to have stabbing back pain which felt like another collapse - but chest x-rays proved different. My doctor, who is a very good friend, indicated that this could be nothing more than scar tissue formation. Still the pain continues. By no means does it stop me in my tracks - but when does one decide if further evaluation might be necessary? I've had asthma since 13, but its well managed. I also have Ebstein-Barr. I run regularly and would hate for this to put a damper on my running season. I am nuts or should I be concerned? Thanks! e
Your doctor is probably correct; that the pain is secondary to scarring and, in fact, the scarring could reduce the possibility of another pneumothorax. That your last pneumo was 30%, it may have been limited by the VATS procedure. Whether another collapse would warrant another surgery is highly debatable, especially if it were equal to or less than 30%. The pain may or may not eventually subside. If it does not you might seek consultation on the potential pain relief by permanent block of one or more intercostal nerves.
I had my lung collapse 9 months ago and also had a VATS (I agree, not fun) in the right lung. I have bullous disease, blebs in both upper lobes and nodules throughout the lower lungs. They did a wedge resection and cut out the bullous and blebs from the right lung along with some of the pleural space. Two months later I had a car accident and hit my right side on th airbag aggrevating the surgery. As of today I still have alot of chest pain and although I don't let it get me down it can be severely painful and I wonder if it will get any better than this...At times it can feel like the lung is going to collapse again but it hasn't yet. I get an extremely sharp pain in my center chest/shoulderblade that goes up to my neck, into my shoulder and down my arm. It even is in the upper right front part of the shoulder. I don't know what kind of pain you had before your lung collapsed but that pretty much sums mine up. I also have acid reflux real bad. Apparently some of my pain is coming from that. I believe that your body has a natural response to let you know that something is not normal. When your body tells you to rest---rest otherwise I would continue as normal. After everything that you went through you should be able to be a good judge of when you should be evaluated. I always went to the doctors when I couldn't mentally handle the pain but with me I trust in the fact that I know it will subside. Good luck
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