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I don’t see a selection choice for pulmonary. I had a chest…

I don’t see a selection...
I don’t see a selection choice for pulmonary. I had a chest X-ray today that showed “something.” A CT scan was done, and the radiologist said the area in question on the X-ray was normal. No masses or modules. But something was mentioned about scar tissue or something to that effect. I believe the medical term used began with an “a.” I’m a healthy 71 year old female who never had this appear before. A chest X-ray last July didn't show this. I was told it’s very common and needs no follow up. Can you agree with this? And perhaps tell me more about what this might be. I’m a very anxious person, and I just want some affirmation about this before the weekend. Thank you.
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Answered in 6 minutes by:
3/9/2018
Dr. A
Dr. A, Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 414
Experience: US trained and licensed physician
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Hi, my name is***** and I will try to assist you today.

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Why did you get the chest xray in the first place? Are you or were you a smoker?

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Have you ever had TB or any other bad lung infection?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I was having some chest discomfort. Blood work was fine. No changes in my EKG, but there was this chest X-ray change. The doctor thinks my chest discomfort is anxiety driven. I’d have to agree. No, I’ve never smoked. I’ve never had a lung infection. And I’ve not had TB.

That is all reassuring. The other thing that is reassuring is that the CT scan was normal since this is significantly more detailed than an xray. The likely thing that was seen was "atelectasis." Does that sound familiar?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
that sounds very much like the word that may have been used. The nurse practitioner began saying it, but then jumped over it—- but I think that was it. What does that mean?

Atelectasis is essentially an area of the lung that is not fully expanded with air. This can be due to things like mucus build-up, infection, blood clot, etc. Since they thought they may have seen atelectasis on the x-ray they likely had you get a CT scan to confirm what was going on. Fortunately, the CT scan showed no signs of atelectasis and that is a much more reliable imaging study. Hope that makes sense and hope that helps!

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Please let me know if you have any other questions.

I would greatly appreciate it if you could provide me with a 5-star rating for my service today. Thanks!

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
That’s what the CT scan DID show. But I was told it wasn’t a concern. The NP said maybe I wasn’t breathing deeply enough due to my anxiety. She did mention an air sac that wasn’t totally filled. Should I be doing more about this? I was told I needed no follow up, but now I’m worried.

Yes, CT scans often show atelectasis if you did not inhale deeply enough. The CT scan will definitely show if there is anything concerning that is causing the atelectasis. Since it sounds like they did not see anything concerning the most likely cause of the atelectasis is that you did not inhale deeply enough.

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Of course, you can always have your doctor look at the scan himself or speak to the radiologist to ensure that there nothing concerning.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I see the doctor in another week for something else. Can this safely wait until then? I think I often breathe quite shallowly. Maybe that’s a reason? But I did have to inhale and hold my breath for the tests, and I know I took good deep breaths. Maybe I’m being overly anxious?

You can wait until your doctors appointment. And you are right, it could be related to your shallow breathing/anxiety. It is hard to tell. Hope I was able to clear some things up for you.

Dr. A
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
you were helpful. Am I worrying unnecessarily about this?

Thank you. I think there is nothing to worry about, especially since the radiologist felt that the CT scan was normal.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Also the NP said this is quite common. Do you agree with that?

Yes, I do.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thank you.

My pleasure.

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