Can a partially collapsed lung un-collapse itself or anything?

My 76- year-old Mum has had a horrible extremely mucousy cough for nearly three years.

The doctors didn't take it seriously for two years because they hadn't heard it, then one day when she coughed in front of a doctor he exclaimed, "oh, that is a nasty cough!" and she was finally taken seriously. Since then she has been seeing a consultant who seems to be great, at last - better late than never I suppose.

She takes Seretide, mucodyne, Montelukast and her consultant has put her on a nebuliser which she has got at home on prescription from the NHS.

She has had CT scans and a bronchoscopy. They said one lung is partially collapsed, which it wasn't before this cough started up. This is part of what I was wondering, can the collapsed part ever become normal again? Is there a way of sort of making it expand out again?


koala x

4 Replies

  • I had a partly collapsed lung many years ago (don't have any other health problems, except sleep apnoea). It inflated by itself after a few days in hospital. Hope this happens for your Mum.

  • 20 years ago my Dad had COPD and went into a sanotarium in Beneden. He had a collapsed lung which they re inflated but it didn't stay inflated, I think because his lungs were too damaged. So lungs can be inflated.

  • Hiya, I suffered with recurrent pneumothorax which was always re-inflated by draining the trapped air from the pleural cavity; the final resolution was a procedure called a pleurodesis which has prevented it recurring since. Take care, Richard.

  • Thank you for your answers, Kath-hope2sleep, slade and RichardAT!

    So it sounds as if it can re-inflate on its own or can also be done as a procedure, that is really good to know as I had no idea whatsoever.

    Next time I am over at her house I'm going to ask her specifically about this part of the problem and see what the doctors are intending to do. She never asks them or anything, just does what they say and waits.


    koala x

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