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Thursday, June 20, 2013
I have what looks like a bag full of air at the bottom of my left lung. The Dr. did a scan and he said it was scars. Sometimes it is really painful. Can you help me to find out why if it is scars why does it hurt.
It is very difficult to comment on your case without reviewing your CT scan and knowing your medical history. I would suggest you ask these questions of your doctor. The lung itself does not have nerves that feel pain. However, the lining around the lung (the pleura) has nerves that feel pain and can be very sensitive.
If there is irritation of the pleura, this could cause pain. Scars in the lung are usually due to previous pneumonias, injuries to the chest, or prior collapse of the lung (called a pneumothorax).
However, what you describe ("bag full of air") sounds like a bullae which can be due to some of these reasons or associated with smoking damage to the lungs or can be something you are born with or develop when you are young. Again, I would suggest discussing your pain and how it realtes to the findings on your scan with your doctor.
James M O'Brien, Jr, MD
Former Associate Professor
Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University