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spontaneous pneumothorax pain for 3 years

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Old 06-08-2009, 02:13 PM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: london
Posts: 1
simon1987 HB User
Unhappy spontaneous pneumothorax pain for 3 years

3 years ago i had a large spontaneous pneumothorax in my left lung. I was a heavey smoker - 20 a day for 3/4 years - but I have since stopped. I was in hospital for 2 weeks where they operated. i am not sure what operation they did but i know it was only key hole. Ever since then, i have had pains in my chest. I have seen doctors who do xrays, blood tests and ECGs but still don't know what's wrong with me. They say its muscular pain but it feels deeper than that.

My GP sent me to a specialist and he said it sounds like Precordial Catch Syndrome, but after reading up on it i know its not that. My job is very active and i also go to the gym quite a bit, but can only cycle and row because it hurts my chest if i use anything that affects the chest. I am pretty fit and can cycle more than 30 miles. I have been suffering from anxiety recently and my GP says it could be the anxiety causing my chest pain, but I only get anxious after I get chest pain. I also fell more anxious because I have no answer to what is causing the pain. The pain is mainly in the front of my chest under my pecs. Its a stinging pain, which gets worse breathing in. It even hurts to laugh(!)

It feels like it is on the lungs themselves and sometimes it feels tight. I have used pain killers like ibruprofen, co-doiadamol, solpadol and movelat gel but it gives little to no relief.

Have any of you had anything similar to do this? I was fine before the pneumothorax. I'm not a cry baby, but three years of pain whenever I laugh is taking the mick!!

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Old 09-09-2009, 05:00 AM   #2
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 2
fri3ndly HB User
Re: spontaneous pneumothorax pain for 3 years

Hi Simon

Weird, my name is Simon too and I have exactly the same kind of pains you are describing.

I had a right total spontaneous pneumothorax. I too smoked but only 5-6 a day (which has now stopped).

My pains are not really painful but I can always feel they are present, even more so with deep breaths in or If I shout/cough. I dont do much exercise but it does not feel like I could really, I do sometimes get out of breath easier than I used to as well.

Did you find out any more about this? I have had numerous XRays and a CT scan which all revealed everything was 'normal' so I am at a loose end now. Something just doesnt feel right. My doctor just says that it is pneumatic pain from the chest drain and will go away eventually.

One other thing, I sometimes walk the dogs and have a run. Where I used to get a stitch I just get an uncomfortable pain instead now...

Old 09-27-2009, 11:09 AM   #3
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: australia
Posts: 1
Kat9 HB User
Unhappy Re: spontaneous pneumothorax pain for 3 years

Hi Simon and Simon,

Funny I just saw your messages as I have been having alot of chestpain today and just got on the computer to try and research it myself.

I too had a spontanious Pneumothorax, turned tension pneumothorax 4 years ago now, I also had the complete surgery, however I am not a smoker and no one knows the cause.

For the past 4 years I have also lived with ongoing chest pains that vary from uncomfortable to sharpe where I loose my breath. I have been to many doctors and specialists and had alot of x-rays, ECG and tests done, but no one seems to know whats causing the pain, they just always say I have pulled a muscle or treat me like im over reacting.

Recently I have been travelling and have had to cut two holidays short in some very remote locations due to chest pain. I too was suffering anxiety and scared. When I saw a specialist upon return they just told me that I shouldnt travel which broke my heart!! I have also been told many times that its caused by anxiety, but i am not anxious until after the pain!!!

Im glad there are some people out there who I can relate to...

Old 10-05-2009, 11:18 AM   #4
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Portsmouth, England
Posts: 1
delibelli HB User
Re: spontaneous pneumothorax pain for 3 years

Hi Everyone,

This all sounds familiar!

I was just browsing the internet looking for advice re chest pains etc after pneumothorax.

I had a right side pneumothorax in July. I had an Aspiration and then a chest drain inserted too. After 5 painful days in hospital, the lung back up and i was discharged. After a few days at home I quickly started to feel quite unwell. Soon, I was diagnosed as having Swine Flu which as you can imagine, was not needed at all!

Since then though things haven't really improved. I've been coughing a lot. It's a really irrititating, dry cough that suddenly bursts out. It can be quite painful and very embarrassing! I have a weird sensation high up on the right side of my chest, deep inside. It's more uncomfortable than painful most of the time but can be quite sharply painful at times.

I've been back to my gp a few times, always with the same symptoms: cough, chest discomfort/pain, fatigue and anxiety. He has been quite sympathetic but quite sure it's just a matter of a longer term recovery.

I did end up back at A&E month ago. I was feeling very breathless and coughing a lot. They did the usual, ECG, Xray, blood tests and listening to chest sounds etc but with everything coming back normal they referred me back to the respiratory team at the hospital.

I went to see them today. It was another washout really. Nothing so much as an xray was done. I felt a bit of a fool. The doc i saw told me it was most likely that it would all clear up in time. Maybe he's right but I do feel very frustrated! I wanted a bit more of a 'why' and 'what to do'.

It's annoying that I couldn't get across to him just how it feels and how worrying it is.

I'm wondering, how are you getting on? Any news? Or, any good advice?

Old 02-25-2010, 03:40 AM   #5
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 2
fri3ndly HB User
Re: spontaneous pneumothorax pain for 3 years

Hi all

Just thought I would let you all know that I was diagnosed with asthma on Monday morning and my doctor belives it was underlying and as left untreated caused the pneumothorax.

He also thinks that all the aches and pains I get are caused by the untreated asthma and using my inhalers every day should really help soon.

Will let you know, but I would request a lung function test from your nurse!



Old 09-20-2010, 03:21 PM   #6
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Australia
Posts: 1
energizerbuni HB User
Re: spontaneous pneumothorax pain for 3 years

Hi everyone

My family has a history of these annoying things. I had my first SP when I was 25 and am now in my 40s. After the largest one I too had the pains you are all describing. I got sick of being fobbed off by my doctor so took matters into my own hands. My guess at the time was that the scar tissue was pulling... dont know if I was right or not but thats what it felt like to me. I embarked on a cardio fitness program designed to expand my lung capacity slowly. It was extremely painful at times and took about a year before it worked. It may be that the pain would have stopped anyway after that amount of time, who knows. I found that keeping my cardio fitness level high has definitely helped a lot and when I let it slip I do get the pains again. I look at it as a type of physio for the lungs.

Good luck everyone... I hope you all get some answers. I know that one of the research places in the US is currently doing a study on SP so hopefully there will be some new info out in the next couple of years.

Old 11-17-2010, 05:21 PM   #7
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Canada
Posts: 1
Whisperer HB User
Re: spontaneous pneumothorax pain for 3 years

I had a total collapse of my right lung just over a year ago, and have had most of the symptoms listed by almost all of you. The most worrying part for me is that most of you don't mention a shortness of breath at all, and those of you that do mention only having it when you get a sharp pain in your chest.

I've been short of breath since the collapse, but it's getting worse, to the point where grocery shopping (or walking into the hospital to be examined time and time again) is leaving me completely winded. I've been to specialists three times, had a half dozen chest x-rays done, and a Spirometry most recently that I failed miserably (and I was sitting in a chair for a half an hour before the test and had more than ample time to catch my breath). I'm now scheduled for another PFT in a 3 month's time, although I'll be on a treadmill for 6 minutes this time.

The problem is that I'm getting all the same responses as you - that I'm fine, that it will pass, that I may have a touch of asthma. I started on Ventolin today, we'll see if it makes a difference, but honestly - I'm not short of breath in episodes, I'm short of breath all the time, especially when I lay down. I'm not a doctor, but it doesn't sound like asthma to me, and it doesn't sound like I'm being heard at all by the doctors. Very frustrating.

Old 09-12-2011, 06:20 AM   #8
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: ireland
Posts: 8
mightymerc HB User
Re: spontaneous pneumothorax pain for 3 years

Hi I had VATS blebectomy over two months ago and find that my right side feels kind of numb and i have slight pain at times it seems around the ribs but from the inside i presume where the stapling and cutting off the blebs and i seem to have slight swelling in the same area, so not unlike you ,good luck,.

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