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COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

Lungs ballooning out

02/13/2009

Question:

My mother-in-law is 52 and she has COPD. She has had her lung to collapse before. When she went to the doctor he told her that her lungs have ballooned out as far as they could and that they have dropped 4 inches. He didn`t seem concerned really and prescribed her some medicine. Then when she went to fill her perscriptions the pharmacist told her that her lungs where shutting down on her.

Answer:

People with COPD sometimes have large lungs as a result of air trapping (they can't get all of their air out). There are tests to confirm this, and there are treatments including lung volume reduction surgery that can be beneficial. This would need to be discussed further with a lung specialist.

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Response by:

Mahasti   Rittinger, RRT Mahasti Rittinger, RRT
Clinical Program Manager of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University