A collapsed lung happens when air enters the pleural space, the area between the lung and the chest wall. If it is a total collapse, it is called pneumothorax. If only part of the lung is affected, it is called atelectasis.
Causes of a collapsed lung include
- Lung diseases such as pneumonia or lung cancer
- Being on a breathing machine
- Surgery on the chest or abdomen
- A blocked airway
If only a small area of the lung is affected, you may not have symptoms. If a large area is affected, you may feel short of breath and have a rapid heart rate.
A chest x-ray can tell if you have it. Treatment depends on the underlying cause.
NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Treatments and Therapies
- Pulmonary Rehabilitation: MedlinePlus Health Topic (National Library of Medicine) Also in Spanish
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Noninvasive Ventilation During Immediate Postoperative Period in Cardiac Surgery Patients:...
- Article: The Efficacy of Thoracic Ultrasonography in Postoperative Newborn Patients after...
- Article: Early mobilization reduces the atelectasis and pleural effusion in patients...
- Collapsed Lung -- see more articles
- What Are the Lungs? (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)
- Atelectasis (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish
- Chest tube insertion (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish
- Collapsed lung (pneumothorax) (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish
- Hemothorax (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish
- Lung surgery (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish
- Pneumothorax - infants (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish