Heart Disease Home > Complete or Partial Lung Collapse and Off-Pump Bypass Surgery

Each lung fits snugly inside the chest cavity. In order for you to breathe easily, the space between the lungs and the chest wall can't have any extra air or fluid in it.
Usually, air and fluid are drained through the chest tubes and don't cause any problems. But if the chest tubes become blocked, or if they have been taken out, fluid or air may build up, making it harder for you to breathe. The fluid or air can often be removed with a syringe or by inserting another drainage tube. However, in rare cases, complete lung collapse does happen with off-pump bypass surgery, and it can be fatal.
Frequently, the only sign of having too much fluid or air in the chest cavity is feeling short of breath. Therefore, you should tell your healthcare providers immediately if you start to have trouble breathing.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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