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Surgical emphysema


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Hi all

i posted the other day about my dad’s air leak post vats lobectomy. He is now 5 days post op and whilst his levels have gone down he has been diagnosed with surgical emphysema. He’s been quite swollen and has an x Ray which shows air in the tissue. I though things were going the right way but mum says they have mentioned surgery.

does anyone have experience of this? I can’t help but worry :(

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Hi, LD, 

I posted on your other thread.  I had the same thing--they called it crepitus but it's subcutaneous emphysema caused by an air leak.  I was told it's not dangerous, just uncomfortable.  I had to go back in for another chest tube.

So I'm assuming the "additional surgery" is to try to get the trapped air released.  I'm told it generally resolves on its own but sometimes they need to do a bit extra to relieve the discomfort.  Chances are it's nothing to worry about.

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Mine got up to my cheekbones right under my eye.  I googled the condition online and saw photos where it gets to the eyes and I knew I didn't want it to get that bad.  They'll get on top of it.  It's possible, I suppose, that they might need to do something to repair wherever the air leak is coming from.  

I hope he gets some relief soon---it is NOT fun.  

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  • 8 months later...

I have this too and my dx told me today that he expected it would get absorbed by the body eventually and I'm scheduled for my 5th x-ray next Monday.  I had robotic surgery and have this and more!

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