Lung Cancer Home > Bronchopleural Fistulas and Pneumonectomy

Having air or fluid inside the pleural space, just outside your lungs, can make it hard for you to breathe. This is what happens if you develop a bronchopleural fistula after a pneumonectomy.
 
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 possibly need another operation to repair the fistula.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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