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Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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I got Pneumothorax after liposuction

I had liposuction 10 days ago - flanks, arms, pubis, back. Immediately following surgery , while still at the facility, I had awful chest pain that I have never had before following surgery. They told myself and my husband that it was normal and to take deep breathes and try to cough up the junk which I never had before either and I have had many, many surgeries. My severe chest pain lasted for about 5 days and every time the nurse would call to check on me I told her that I was feeling better from the surgery but my chest was very very painful with sharp pains and she just said it would get better. Within about 5 days the pain did get better but not totally subsided. Flash forward to last evening, 10 days after surgery....totally unrelated I started getting sharp, constant stabbing pains in my left lower pelvis radiating around to my back. It got worse and worse and a 10 on a scale of 1-10. My husband took me to the hospital and a CT diagnosed a kidney stone AND to my surprise a pneumothorax! The ER dr specifically said that the surgeon punctured my lung during surgery and I should have come to the ER and had a chest tube put in....but the nurse just kept telling me that it would get better, it would get better. The ER dr did say that it appears it is healing itself but if it happens again to get to the nearest emergency room. I am to go to my family dr in 4-5 days for a chest xray to check on the healing of the pneumothorax. I had a preopchest xray and I am assuming it did not show any sign of pneumothorax. Preoperatively otherwise I would have been informed by the surgeon or staff. Question: is this a typical complication from liposuction? Should I get myself an attorney? I know that my chances of developing another pneumothorax within the next 2 years are 40%. I am only 50 years old, in good health, aprox 154 lbs and 5’10” tall, and not a smoker..now what?? How will this affect my way of life from this point forward? What do I have to be careful of so I don’t get it again? Thanks
Wed, 5 Oct 2011
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Orthopaedic Surgeon 's  Response
Welcome to Healthcare Magic
Liposuction is a complication of invasive procedure like Liposuction which is done near the armpits and chest area. In most cases it should resolve on it's own especially if it is a small one. The chest pain could be because of pneumothorax or possible infection as well. Keep well hydrated. If necessary do put chest tube for few days till pressure has normalised in lung. Avoid rough coughing or heavy breathing. You may take pain killers under medical supervision for the chest pain for pain relief. Follow up with your Doctor for proper examination and tests as required to make sure you are fine and no other complications.
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General & Family Physician Dr. Jitender Chauhan's  Response
Hello, welcome to Healthcaremagic. Pneumothorax can occur in many chest surgeries including liposuction. It occurs due to accidental punture of pleural membranes. I dont think your attorney would be able to help you much in this case. But yes it was a fault on behalf of hospital autorities in failure to bring it to your notice after surgery. It can usually resolve by itself. But in case of tention pneumothorax it might need to be decompressed using a needle. You should just avoid sea diving and consult doctor in case of severe chest pain or breathlessness. Wish you good health.
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  User's Response
Melanie Cortez's  Response
You might really want to check on that because if it doesn't heal it would affecct your blood circulation.
Regards, God Bless! Hope everything will be alright
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I got Pneumothorax after liposuction

Welcome to Healthcare Magic Liposuction is a complication of invasive procedure like Liposuction which is done near the armpits and chest area. In most cases it should resolve on it s own especially if it is a small one. The chest pain could be because of pneumothorax or possible infection as well. Keep well hydrated. If necessary do put chest tube for few days till pressure has normalised in lung. Avoid rough coughing or heavy breathing. You may take pain killers under medical supervision for the chest pain for pain relief. Follow up with your Doctor for proper examination and tests as required to make sure you are fine and no other complications.