Which activities are forbidden for patients recovering from pneumothorax?

Updated: Apr 28, 2020
  • Author: Brian J Daley, MD, MBA, FACS, FCCP, CNSC; Chief Editor: Mary C Mancini, MD, PhD, MMM  more...
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Answer

Patients should not travel by air or travel to remote sites until radiography shows complete resolution. Although commercial air travel achieves minimal change in gas volumes due to pressurization of the cabin, spontaneous pneumothorax has been described during commercial travel.

Patients with previous spontaneous pneumothoraces are at risk for recurrence and are advised not to dive unless thoracotomy or pleurodesis has been performed. [34] Ascent from deep-sea diving causes gases to expand and can lead to pneumothorax in patients with bullae and blebs.


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