We present a case of a gentleman in his 70s with extensive subcutaneous emphysema. Usually self-limiting, subcutaneous emphysema around the thoracic inlet can rarely lead to airway and cardiovascular compromise by compression of structures in the neck. This patient presented with a large pneumothorax on a background of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This was initially treated with an intrapleural chest drain. However, after removal of this drain, the patient developed subcutaneous emphysema and later signs of tension pneumothorax. Further intrapleural chest drains were required. One of these chest drains produced a broncho-subcutaneous fistula, which contributed to extensive subcutaneous emphysema. He developed symptoms of dysphonia and dysphagia. A subcutaneous drain was inserted for palliation of his symptoms and to improve his quality of life. His symptoms improved significantly after insertion of this subcutaneous drain. There are only a handful of case reports published on interventions to relieve subcutaneous emphysema.