Lung transplantation is a medical-surgical procedure where surgeons replace a diseased lung (or lungs) with healthy lungs from an organ donor. Typically, surgeons recommend lung transplant therapy for patients who have severe lung disease that interferes with daily life.

Surgeons only recommend lung transplant surgery after all other medical and surgical options have been attempted.

Lung Diseases & Transplant Surgery

Surgeons often perform lung transplant surgery for patients with the following diseases:

  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or emphysema, including emphysema resulting from Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD);
  • interstitial lung diseases (ILD), e.g. idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis or IPF, and other forms of ILD caused by conditions like scleroderma, rheumatoid disease, or systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE);
  • cystic fibrosis (CF) and other forms of bronchiectasis not related to CF;
  • occupational or work-related lung diseases like silicosis, pneumoconiosis, or asbestosis;
  • pulmonary hypertension – including idiopathic pulmonary hypertension (previously called primary pulmonary hypertension) and secondary pulmonary hypertension;
  • sarcoidosis;
  • bronchiolitis obliterans;
  • and lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM).

Am I Eligible?

The decision to perform lung transplant surgery is complex. Surgical specialists must carefully consider the patient’s clinical history and overall health.

Through working together with you and your doctor, our transplant team will help you decide if lung transplant surgery is the best option for you. 

In general, patients referred for lung transplant have advanced lung disease and need to use an oxygen tank (also called oxygen supplementation). These patients have lung – or pulmonary – limitations that interfere with basic daily activities. 

A Careful Decision

Patients considering lung transplant surgery need to understand the pros and cons of the procedure. For example, patients must be able to take many medications for the rest of their lives. Patients should also have strong support from their family and friends before, during, and after the surgery. 

If you are referred for lung transplant surgery, you also cannot use:

  • marijuana (cannabis),
  • tobacco,
  • or e-cigarettes or vaping

for at least six months before your evaluation. 

During your evaluation, our team will perform comprehensive testing to make sure surgeons can perform your lung transplant surgery safely and that you have a good chance of benefitting from the procedure. 

Lung Transplant Program Team

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