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Can an acupuncture needle cause cautery?

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Practicing since : 2001
Answered : 11718 Questions
i have a pneumothorax caused by an acupuncture needle. The needle was left in for 30 minutes with low frequency electricity pumping into it. After over a week I don't seem any better yet, and the uncomfortable movement I feel inside my chest (which I'm told is the air pocket outside my lung) is reaching a wider area. Is it possible that the electricity in the needle over that half hour cauterized the hole open, or is it more likely that the wound is healed and the feeling in my chest being in a wider area is because the air pocket is smaller and therefore more mobile?
Posted Fri, 20 Apr 2012 in Lung and Chest disorders
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 33 minutes later

Thanks for your query.

The acupuncture needle which penetrated your lungs causing pneumothorax, though the electrical stimulation is given to them but it is so small that it is not likely to cause any cautery to leave the hole open for more air to enter in.

It takes weeks ( around 4 to 6) for a pneumothorax to resolve completely as the small amount of air inside the lung cavity takes very long to get reabsorbed.

The discomfort you are feeling is because of the air pocket only.
If there is no breathlessness and any lung disease and the pneumothorax is small ,it will resolve on its own without much treatment.For early recovery-
1) You can take oxygen therapy at high flow rate .
2) Do chest exercises like inflating and deflating balloons repeatedly, XXXXXXX inhalations, etc.
3) you can monitor the progress by repeat chest X-ray.
I hope this information has been both informative and helpful for you. If there are additional concerns, I am available for your followups.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Can an acupuncture needle cause cautery? 11 hours later
Thank you for your response. Are there other exercises I can do as well? Would normal chest exercises or situps help or be harmful?
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 13 minutes later

Thanks for writing back.

It is best if you avoid normal chest exercises and sit ups until your pneumothorax resolves completely.

Other exercises include- blowing off of candles, taking XXXXXXX breaths, etc. It is the respiratory exercises that help in re inflation of lungs and not the chest wall muscle exercises.

Hope I have answered your query. I will be available if you have any further queries.

Wish you an early recovery.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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