Are there empty/hollow spaces in a human body?

Question is not about someone with gas in part of their digestive system, or air in their lungs.

I’m wondering if there are empty spaces in people’s bodies due to the fact that organs don’t fit exactly alongside each other, and so on. Or if someone has an organ removed, for that matter. Or does any available empty space fill up with some sort of fluid, or other squishy substances in there?

If so, where, and also what proportion of a typical person’s body would be hollow?

It depends on the body part. And maybe on what you mean by “empty”. Does fluid count? Or only air?

My mom has empty spaces in her skull where some of her brain has died from numerous micro-strokes, but i think those cavities are filled with fluid. She does not have empty spaces in her abdomen where various stuff has been removed, because everything else squished around to fill those spaces.

(Source: I’ve seen scans.)

When someone has liposuction, they have to wear compression garments for months to prevent the empty areas from simply being replaced with fluid.

My mom had a pneumonectomy (lung removal) back in the 50s. Things moved around like crazy to fill the void. I had several cousins who went to med school who would take her x-rays in for the amazement of their fellow students. Surgeries later in life were much more complicated because things weren’t where they were supposed to be. But no empty spaces.

Some special cases have been given, but the ordinary answer is no. Everything is squished up against everything else.

And even the spaces the OP mentioned are full. The intestines aren’t tubes the way a garden hose is. They’re more like a rolled up shag carpet, with the villi - the projections on the interior that absorb the nutrients - close together until the chyme - the liquid slurry that passes through - pushes them apart. It doesn’t take much air to cause pain. The esophagus actually has more interior diameter, which is what lets you swallow large objects that sometimes get stuck there. But it’s still pretty small and gets opened more when stuff passes into it.

The lungs are similarly filled with bronchi - all the zillions of little branches that absorb the oxygen out of a breath.

Space inside the body is too precious to waste.

To quote Star Trek, we are “ugly bags of mostly water.”

Aren’t your sinuses essentially just voids in your skull filled with air?

You mean like this?

Well, they are drains for mucus so something is normally moving through them. They’re small enough so that dust and debris can thicken the mucus so that it blocks the passage. And they don’t look much like hollow sacs. Though technically SFW, the image is not something you want popping up unexpectedly, so I spoilered it.

A friend of mine - somewhat obese - developed gangrene in his abdomen and had to have the offending part removed. From what he and his son told me, it was a lobe of fat tissue “filler” between body organs (Liver, kidney, stomach, etc.??) that got squeezed and so circulation was cut off to cause the problem.

I would think any air filled voids that are not part of the respiratory system would be prone to causing embolisms.

I had a related debate with a nurse. She insisted that internal organs were the same size regardless of the size of the person, so Andre the Giant and Reese Witherspoon would have had the same size liver, the same size kidneys, et cetera. One of the counterarguments I proposed was that these organs would not fill up the insides of anybody but the smallest people, and she said they don’t, there’s just empty space.

A nurse!

What nonsense. My father received a child’s liver for transplant because he was a little guy and grownup livers were too large.

Pneumothorax (a collapsed lung due to an air pocket pressing on it) was the first thing that came to my mind.

There is a lot of space in the human body. Several pairs of sinuses make the skull lighter. The ears, lungs, gut, spleen and heart have space. But there is also a lot of potential space where fluid could fit between bones or organs under pressure or certain osmotic conditions.

If you removed an abdominal organ the space would fill up with fluid and bowel. If you took out part of a lung the space might not fill up at all. Most organs have two layers of coating and bad stuff happens if air, blood, infection or too much fluid get between the layers.

That reminded me of an acquaintance who, a few years ago, had a grapefruit-sized ovarian cyst removed, and was shocked at how much pain she was in afterwards, and for how long. She was told that her insides had to shift around to fill in that space.

One of my relatives just the opposite. She had a blood cyst the size of a grapefruit on one side of her ovary or fallopian tube; it was finally diagnosed in the ER after a massive amount of pain one night; before that she’d had shooting pains in her bowels, constant intestinal pain, difficult periods, and general uncomfortableness. She almost passed out during a colonoscopy

She got a full hysterectomy, and the pains pretty much stopped right then, once she healed. I suppose the difference is a full hysterectomy is balanced, so there’s no sideways shifting/stretching to cause pain, just general settling?

She probably had a lot of inflammation and scar tissue along with that cyst, so the surgery was less painful than the condition it was relieving.

There is not any empty space in human body as there’s no vacuum in it. If you think gas filled spaces are empty then as there is already told head has several empty spaces: mouth, sinuses, passages from nose to ears, behind eardrums and there are sinus cavities under your eyes and over your nose although not all people have the last (lucky them as if there’s a inflammation in there it causes headache that is out of this world.)

Then there’s also gas in your bowels produced by microbial action. Your bowels are unable to pass gas to bloodflow so it always has to travel out otherways.

If you get gas into other places in your body that is always a big problem. If too much and too fast it can kill you. So be carfull with pressured gasses. People have killed themselfs by playing with airhoses.

In SCUBA diving they told us that the space behind the eardrum is a cavity that has to have pressure equalized when going below the surface of water. Also, there can be air spaces behind dental fillings that can be problematic.