Health knowledge made personal
Join this community!
› Share page:

what is basal atelectasis and hyperinflated lungs

Posted by shayne

what is this basal atelectasis with hyperinflated lungs
Answers (2)
Sort by: Newest first | Oldest first

Has someone had an operation? Some of the sites say it is a common post-operative complication. I have been doing some research for you and hope some of the information helps answer your question.



Alternative name

Partial lung collapse



Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Atelectasis is caused by a blockage of the air passages (bronchus or bronchioles) or by pressure on the outside of the lung.

It is common after surgery, or in patients who were in the hospital.

Risk factors for developing atelectasis include:

  • Anesthesia

  • Foreign object in the airway (most common in children)

  • Mucus that plugs the airway

  • Pressure on the lung caused by a buildup of fluid between the ribs and the lungs (called a )

  • Prolonged bed rest with few changes in position

  • Shallow breathing (may be caused by painful breathing)

  • that block an airway


Signs and tests


The goal of treatment is to re-expand the collapsed lung tissue. If fluid is putting pressure on the lung, removing the fluid may allow the lung to expand.

The following are treatments for atelectasis:

  • Clap () on the chest to loosen mucus plugs in the airway

  • Perform deep breathing exercises (with the help of incentive spirometry devices)

  • Remove or relieve any blockage by .

  • Tilt the person so the head is lower than the chest (called postural drainage). This allows mucus to drain more easily.

  • Treat a or other condition, if there is one

  • Turn the person to lie on the healthy side, allowing the collapsed area of lung to re-expand

  • Use aerosolized respiratory treatments (inhaled medications) to open the airway

  • Use other devices that help increase positive pressure in the airways and clear fluids (positive and expiratory pressure [PEP] devices)

Expectations (prognosis)

In an adult, atelectasis in a small area of the lung is usually not life threatening. The rest of the lung can make up for the collapsed area, bringing in enough oxygen for the body to function.

Large areas of atelectases may be life threatening, especially in a baby or small child, or someone who has another lung disease or illness.

The collapsed lung usually reinflates slowly if the blockage of the airway has been removed. However, some scarring or damage may remain.


may develop quickly after atelectasis in the affected part of the lung.

Calling your health care provider

Call your health care provider if you develop symptoms of atelectasis.


  • Encourage movement and deep breathing in anyone who is bedridden for long periods.

  • Keep small objects out of the reach of young children.

  • Maintain deep breathing after anesthesia.




lung hyperinflation

lung hyperinflation - also known as or related to lung over-inflation, hyperinflation of lungs, chest over distension, over-distension chest, overinflated lung, over-distension lungs

Basal or basilar crackles (not to be confused with the basilar artery of the brain) are crackles apparently originating in or near the base of the lung.


NOTICE: The information provided on this site is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on Wellsphere. If you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.
Post an answer
Write a comment: