Elderly man who underwent surgery that was supposed to improve his breathing ended up suffering from a condition that nearly cost him his life
An unnamed 75-year-old man underwent surgery near the end of the previous month that was originally described as non-life threatening and would have helped relieve the breathing issues he was suffering, but eventually complications occurred during the operation that left the man fighting for his life.
An air pocket emerged under the skin of the man after surgery for a collapsed lung, causing him to experience eye edema that was so severe that he could not even open both of his eyes.
The individual was getting treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which is more often referred to as COPD. In response to the development of the air pocket, he had surgery to have a portion of his right lung removed.
It kept expanding till it ultimately reached his face and went all the way up to his groin. At some point, it grew to the point that he began to notice swelling over his chest and neck. Because of the swelling that had occurred on his face, he was unable to completely open his eyes.
Doctors were able to save the man’s life by treating him with a chest tube, which helped him get better in the end.
A team of researchers from Australia wrote an article about this strange situation that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
It is unknown how long the man had been experiencing symptoms of COPD.
The right upper lobe of his lung was the target of the volume-reducing surgery performed by the doctors.
People who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and whose condition has worsened to the point that a portion of their lung has to be removed often have this surgery, and the main purpose is to help individuals breathe easier. The breathing difficulties are frequently caused by a chronic lung ailment.
The individual ended up with a collapsed lung and subcutaneous emphysema as a result of complications that occurred during the surgery.
At this stage, a pocket of air emerges just under the surface of the skin. In some instances, it may cause a noticeable bulge to develop on a person’s body.
The edema continued to worsen and eventually started to spread. It began in his chest and proceeded all the way down to his pelvis before moving back up to his face.
The man’s cheeks, chin, and eyes swelled up dramatically, making it impossible for him to see anymore.
A chest tube was inserted between his skin and muscle slightly below his ribs.
Almost two hours after the therapy had begun, there was a noticeable decrease in the level of edema he was experiencing. Within five days, he had completely recovered from his condition.
One week after the tube was removed, the doctors were able to release him from the hospital since his health had improved significantly.
According to a study that was released earlier this year by the University of California, Los Angeles, subcutaneous emphysema is an extremely uncommon condition. The survey found that it occurs in as few as 0.43 percent of people.
More than seven out of 10 people diagnosed with this condition are male. Because a visible bulge doesn’t always happen, it is often not clinically detectable.