British Lung Foundation

Long lungs

Hi I have COPD. I recently went to see my gp as was more breathless than normal on walking. Was sent for chest X-ray to which I was told my lungs are very long. They had to do 2 X-rays to get them on. A bit like a jig saw puzzle 😂😂. My X-rays were sent back to my gp the same day and was called into doctors the following day. My own doctor was not there an I saw a locum doctor. Just a bit concerned because all she said was that there was more collapse in my left lung. I asked her if this was due to COPD. All she said was, well it could be. Still very baffled regarding long lungs and what that really means. Sorry for rambling on xx

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Hi I think everyone with copd has longer than usual lungs. This is due to the more effort we need to draw breath. I have long lungs too and needed 2 x-rays. It's nothing to worry about in itself. x

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Thank you so much for your kind reassurance. Take care xx

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I have always understood that it indicates some remodelling of the lungs due to hyperinflation (air-trapping). Mine have been 'long' for as long as I can remember, having had asthma since my mid-20s. When you have an X-ray you need to tell the radiologist that you have long lungs so you don't end up like you did having to have two X-rays. This works anyway for women, as they just use the format which is designed for men's naturally longer lungs. Not sure what happens to men, or if you are male or female. It may be that men do have to have a couple of X-rays done like happened with you.

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Hi I think your Doctor could mean hyperinflation rather than long lungs. During my bout of pneumonia I had hyperinflation. However on check X-ray 8 weeks later my X-ray was reported as normal. What is the doctor doing about your partial collapse?

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Hi thanks for your reply. I have made an appointment with my own GP for Monday. Will have a good chat with him then regarding what, if anything needs to be done. Take care xx

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Long lungs, generally, come about through emphasima . It's large lower areas of the lung that have been damaged. On a scan, they would be black. There is an operation to ease the situation, when the damaged portion of lung was surgically sealed off or removed. The more recent way of dealing with it, is to fit a valve that seals the area off and allows the undamaged part of the lung to carry on functioning. It's a very quick procedure, with only a local anaesthetic being used....everything goes in via the throat. You will need to clarify with your GP which type of long lungs he is talking about....physically long or long because of damage.

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Thank you so much for your advice. I have made an appointment with my own GP for Monday. Will have a good chat with him. Take care and thanks again x

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Thank you so much for your help. Makes me feel better. Take care xx

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Unfortunately, x-rays don't provide the answer. The only way they can see the damage is on a scan.

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It has been dropped Inthe wrong place but it will have to stay there....

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To help you out I've moved mine.

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My lungs are hyperinflated and long too......I always have to tell the radiographer when I have a chest X-ray .

My rib cage has expanded as well

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Hi will have to tell them next time. That's really interesting what you are saying about your rib cage because I have been really uncomfortable under my boobs lol. Also certain movements causes pain in my ribs. Maybe all related. Have GP appointment on Monday so will have a good chat with him. Thank you so much for your reply, it's so helpful when others suffer the same. Also helps to chat too as some things can be quite worrying. Take care and thank you xx

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I have long lungs too. As far as I can understand is that your lungs start growing as parts of your lungs determinate. As far as I know it’s a natural process in order to help sob caused by emphysema

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Hi Kings

You'll need to ask your GP what they intend to do..

I'm going from my experience, and obviously I can't see your xrays, but:

They usually don't need to do anything about a minor partial collapse as it is generally self resolving... and in itself doesn't cause problems... but it can happen again, and probably will.

My own theory is that it occurs where the left lung is weak (emps)and/or under inflated because, for example, mucous stops air getting to the distal region (bottom).

Then any pressure from a big meal or bowel gas pressing on your diaphragm can compress it again.

It makes getting a full breath and getting the mucous up more difficult. You can belch out the excess gas in your tum and it will give some relief in those circumstances...

Losing weight if above ideal BMI will help avoid a reoccurrence... and keep away from sprouts ..lol.

Best wishes

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