Bronchopleural Fistulas and Lobectomy

Having air or fluid trapped in the space between your lungs and chest wall (known as the pleural space) can make it difficult to breathe. This is what happens if you develop a bronchopleural fistula after a lobectomy.
 
A bronchopleural fistula happens when the bronchial tube, which was cut and then closed during the surgery, doesn't heal properly. It can open up after surgery and leak air into your chest cavity, which can make it hard to breathe. This is a serious problem that should be taken care of quickly, or it may be fatal.
 
The symptoms you should look for are:
 
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Fever
  • Coughing up blood.
     
You may need to have a chest tube put in and be placed on IV antibiotics, or you may need to have another operation to repair the fistula.
 
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