Mild Bibasilar Atelectasis in Lungs

Without much effort for the majority of people, the lungs broaden and contract approximately 20 times each minute to exchange carbon dioxide for oxygen.

An obstruction of this procedure is called bibasilar atelectasis, which stops as the bottom part of the lungs collapse. This condition leads to post-surgery patients with breathing conditions, injury to the lungs, and in overweight patients.

Bibasilar atelectasis is a pathological condition of the lungs where there is a partial or total collapse of the lungs or the lobes of the lungs as a result of the alveoli getting deflated being without air.

This results in the impacted individual having problems with breathing generally. This condition causes problems in breathing and might take place after a surgery.

We will take a better take a look at this deadly lung condition, and find out the symptoms of bibasilar atelectasis.

Mild Bibasilar Atelectasis in Lungs

In medical terms, bibasilar atelectasis meaning describes a partial or complete collapse of a lung or both lungs. We have two lungs– the left and the right– both containing lobes. The left lung has two lobes, and the right lung has 3 lobes.

Alveolus diagram


There are tiny air sacs formed like balloons containing blood vessels organized in clusters throughout the lungs.

These are called alveoli, which abnormally deflate due to an obstruction of the airflow with bibasilar atelectasis. It impacts the bottom portions of the lungs. The lethal result occurs from an absence of oxygen reaching crucial organs of the body.

Although it resembles pneumothorax, bibasilar atelectasis is caused by different conditions and circumstances. Pneumothorax can result in bibasilar atelectasis.

Causes of Bibasilar Atelectasis

An obstruction to the airflow within the lungs can form in numerous ways. Bibasilar atelectasis is frequently seen after surgery and as a problem of breathing health conditions such as cystic fibrosis, severe asthma, and with a blunt force injury to the lungs.

Blood Clot

A blood clot can cause bibasilar atelectasis if the blood leaves the bloodstream and enters the within the lungs. This is generally the result of a blunt force injury to the chest.


Among the most typical causes of bibasilar atelectasis is the effects of using anesthesia during surgeries. In addition to preventing pain sensation and controlling blood flow, heart rate, and blood pressure, anesthetics medications also control the breathing strategy of the lungs. The capability to take in air is minimized with this state, hence triggering bibasilar atelectasis.

Foreign Body

An obstruction of lung working can be found in the type of a breathed in ecological allergen which can cause the lungs to collapse, either partly or in a complete capability.

Mucus Plug

During surgery, the lungs respond to medication by decreasing the rate of inflation, which enables mucus to collect and collect in the airway.

Medical professionals will use suction to eliminate the mucus, but some can still gather later. Deep breathing exercises are done during recovery to expel the mucus.

Mucus plugs typically take place in patients with asthma and cystic fibrosis.

Airway Narrowing

Some health conditions such as fungal infections and tuberculosis can cause the air passage passages to narrow from scarring that occurs.

Damage to Lungs

Damage to the lung walls can cause a collapse causing bibasilar atelectasis. Air can escape from the lung into the area in between the chest wall and the lung from illness such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or pneumonia.


A direct hit to the ribs or lungs by means of an automobile mishap, stabbing, or gunshot might lead to a lung compression.

Other interruptions to the lung operating that might result in bibasilar atelectasis include a lung growth, increased lung pressure, weight problems, and extreme use of cough suppressants, both prescribed and over-the-counter.

Symptoms of Bibasilar Atelectasis

Bibasilar atelectasis normally just affects a small part of the lungs, mainly the bottom portion, and therefore is asymptomatic. If by possibility it impacts a higher portion or the whole lung, there are key symptoms to be familiar with consisting of:

  • severe pain
  • wheezing
  • extreme cough
  • fever
  • breathing troubles
  • reduced chest expansion
  • sputum
  • discoloration of skin
  • anxiety
  • quick heart beat.

Bibasilar Atelectasis Diagnosis

Considering that physicians might misdiagnose bibasilar atelectasis as pneumothorax, a proper diagnosis needs explicit screening. You can expect a complete blood count test, a performance test of the kidneys, serum electrolytes check, and a physical examination.

Imaging tests might be bought and include chest x-rays to discover a collapsed lung, a chest computerized tomography scan, and a lung function test. A bronchoscopy may also be performed to figure out if an obstruction such as a tumor is present.

Mild Bibasilar Atelectasis Treatment

A treatment plan for bibasilar atelectasis focuses on treating the underlying cause or health condition. Minor cases can heal by themselves (don’t despair) and do not need treatment while more serious conditions of bibasilar atelectasis might result in surgical procedures to treat.

If this is the case, post-surgery treatment will need rehab through particular breathing exercises to train the collapsed lung to broaden effectively.

The doctor will drain pipes any excess of mucus as required and may recommend mucus thinners to reduce the procedure. Prescribed bronchodilators and oxygen might be required to help in the breathing procedure.

End-stage interstitial lung disease

This image of an autopsy lung with end-stage pulmonary fibrosis

Bibasilar Atelectasis Prevention

You can prevent bibasilar atelectasis by not ingesting foreign items and preventing the use of tobacco (don’t smoke!), too making use of anesthetic vices when it is not required.

Considering that numerous cases are not preventable due to existing health conditions and surgeries, there are steps to lower risk of bibasilar atelectasis complications that include:

  1. Doing deep breathing exercises routinely.
  2. Using favorable expiratory pressure devices to help in breathing when needed.
  3. Recording symptoms and breathing patterns.
  4. Preserving positions that promote mucus drainage.

Bibasilar atelectasis can be a frightening condition that might result in a total lung collapse in extreme cases. Seen mainly in post-surgical recovery, using anesthetics can greatly affect lung working and airway passages.

Health conditions and injury to the lungs can likewise bring upon bibasilar atelectasis. Mild conditions do not require treatment while more serious cases require surgery.

Good luck! Have a nice weekend!


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