Subcutaneous Emphysema – Definition, Symptoms, & Treatments

Subcutaneous emphysema can often be seen as a smooth bulge of the skin. It is a condition arising due to surgeries, infections, Intestinal perforation & other reasons.

Subcutaneous Emphysema
Subcutaneous Emphysema

The subcutaneous definition includes your skin:

Subcutaneous emphysema is a condition where the air flows under the skin. Emphysema means the air, while subcutaneous refers to the location of air.

This type of emphysema is not like other types of emphysema that you have heard, which are lung diseases, and caused by smoking. It can result in medical procedures, sugar level disorders, accidents, injuries, or infections.

The term describes any soft tissue emphysema of the body wall or organs, as the gas often decomposes into deep soft tissues and musculature along the fascial planes. It is generally located in the form of tissue or under the skin and is injected through a syringe.

Symptoms of disorder that are an indication:-

There is a wide range of severe signs when it comes to subcutaneous emphysema. In mild cases, you may not experience any symptoms, whereas more severe cases may cause significant discomfort and complications.

The symptoms of the problem vary depending on the underlying cause and location in the body. Nearly everyone will be affected by subcutaneous emphysema. 

Crepitus definition-

When the skin surface produces a specific cracking noise on being contacted, it is called crepitus. It can help medical professionals initially suspect and then diagnose the condition.

It is the reason why subcutaneous emphysema is characterized as cyst crepitus or crepitus. You need to figure out everything, because skin is important.

Emphysema lung sounds-

A common auscultatory finding in pulmonary emphysema is a lack of lung sounds, due to the destruction of permits with an airflow threshold.

It may be due to poor transmission of sounds. Lung sound intensity is about normal and effective airflow and recreated on two separate days, with a correlation coefficient ranging from 0.77 to 0.94.

The force is disproportionately affected by the amplifier field and wind flow. However, no significant difference in the intensity of lung sounds at a flow rate between common and emphysema group.

Hence it suggests that the detection of mild breathlessness during routine physical examination in patients with emphysema is mainly due to airflow limitation of a heartbeat. Moves of your heart move the trapped air and cause scratching sounds.

Subq emphysema-

Subcutaneous emphysema usually results in spontaneous alveolar wall rupture and disruption of the upper airway or gastrointestinal tract. The primary symptoms of unrelated subcutaneous emphysema and crepitus are increasing at the site in question.

Further clinical findings in the case of subcutaneous cervical and mediastinal emphysema maybe neck and chest pain and dyspnea. 

Radiologic imaging plays a role in the accurate diagnosis and expansion of the disease. In pneumomediastinum and pneumoretroperitoneum we present a rare spontaneous subcutaneous cervical emphysema, due to perforation of a secretory sigmoid diverticulum. 

Abdominal ultrasound, chest X-ray and computer tomography (CT) are performed to evaluate free gas expansion and identify potential sources of excess gas.

Severe emphysema

Like other forms of COPD, the above problem reduces the amount of oxygen that can reach your bloodstream, hence the heart works harder to circulate oxygen throughout the body.

A person with severe emphysema may become fatigued, have chest pain or palpitations, or may experience headaches, sleep problems, and irritability.

In May, MD of Greenschool Pulmonologist Franciscan Health Indianapolis said that “there is no cure for emphysema or COPD, but our the goal is to help slow the progression of the disease.”

Other symptoms varying over victims-

  • Sore throat
  • Neck pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty swallowing or speaking / changing voice
  • Pathology or inflammation of the stomach

Severe cases of subcutaneous emphysema may include airway compromise, pacemaker failure, respiratory failure, cardiac compromise, and tension pneumothorax.

Other serious complications include trachea compression, skin necrosis, compartment syndrome, and even impaired perfusion of the brain.

Causes for Subcutaneous emphysema:-

There are three layers of skin. The outermost layer is called the epidermis, which is followed by the dermis and then the subcutaneous layer that is mostly composed of fat and connective tissue.

It is the layer, the subcutaneous layer, where the air is trapped in cases of subcutaneous emphysema. Although this may be an indication that air is also inhabiting deep tissue layers.

There are several underlying causes of subcutaneous emphysema, including:
  • Injury in almost any part of the body, but especially in the chest, sinus or facial bones
  • Pneumothorax
  • Infection with necrotizing bacteria (gangrene)
  • Surgical trauma
  • Laparoscopic surgery carries a risk because the stomach is filled with carbon dioxide
  • Barotrauma that occurs during scuba diving or other activity that subjects a person to extreme altitude changes
  • Severe injury to the trachea during intubation (insertion of the respiratory tract)
  • Malfunction or issue with the ventilator
  • Esophagus injury (occurring during insertion of a feeding tube)
  • Intestinal or esophagus perforation
  • Bag mask ventilation during CPR

In the absence of a known cause, rare subcutaneous emphysema may occur, called spontaneous subcutaneous emphysema.

Subcutaneous emphysema treatment – tried & tested:-

  • If the underlying causes are undermined accurately, subcutaneous emphysema will usually resolve in about a few days without serious complications. The air that is causing trouble inflated.
  • It is, therefore, necessary to determine how the condition occurred and what is its treatment.
  • Controlling the symptoms and any discomfort are also important. In mild cases of subcutaneous emphysema, you may not feel any discomfort. More severe cases of subcutaneous emphysema can cause disturbing symptoms.
  •  It can be managed with oxygen in a stomach tie or with pain medications, depending on the circumstances.
  • Highly concentrated oxygen is often administered as a treatment because it helps the body absorb subcutaneous air more quickly.
  • Severe cases of subcutaneous emphysema may require surgical treatment or insertion of drains. Another cure is to place two infraclavicular incisions on each side (these are deep incisions below the clavicle bone).
  • Sometimes it is necessary to insert the chest pipe to evacuate the air. In some cases small incisions may be made in other parts of the body or needles or catheters may be used to get rid of excess air.

The problem might be a sign of something serious:-

The problem of the chest wall is usually one of the first symptoms, caused by damage due to excessive pressure, to reveal a bar toma and is an indication of the below problems. 

Subcutaneous emphysema is an indication that-   

  • The lung was subjected to significant barotrauma, causing diving injury.
  •  In addition to the lungs, some parts of the respiratory system, such as rupture of the bronchial tube, trauma can also cause subcutaneous emphysema.
  • The air may be a bronchial rupture, or a torn trachea or larynx downstream from the neck to pneumomediastinum in soft tissues from the chest. It can also occur with fractures of the facial bones, neoplasm during asthma attacks, and childbirth.
  • Injuries with pneumatic means, which are driven by wind are also the cause, even in the extremities. It can also occur as a result of the rupture of the esophagus, usually occurring as a late sign.

Subcutaneous tissue definition (innermost layer of skin):-


Also known as hypodermis, it is the innermost layer of the skin. Constituted by fat and connective tissues, which enlarge the blood vessels and nerves, and it acts as an insulator to help regulate body temperature.

The thickness of this subcutaneous layer varies throughout the body and from person to person.

Composition of the tissue-

The skin consists of three layers: epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous tissue. There are many structures and specialized cells that exist between the subcutaneous tissues. These are

  • Collagen and elastin fibers (these connect the dermis to muscles and bones)
  • Fat cells
  • Blood vessels
  • Sebaceous glands
  • Nerve endings
  • Hair follicle roots
In the end, we would mention that our focus is on subcutaneous emphysema, and the complete information about subcutaneous emphysema that occurred after the treatment has been denied.

If you feel some other symptoms and don’t find your solution, read our article to help your issues. It is always beneficial to find more and to help impart knowledge on health and personal care funds only. Team Only Health Cares is here to provide detailed study guidelines. 

Stay healthy Stay safe!