Treating Lung Disease With Lung Transplant Surgery

At University of Utah Health, our experienced lung transplant team provides exceptional care for patients in the Mountain West—from evaluation through transplant surgery and recovery. Our program is the only one in the region that serves adult patients with advanced lung disease.

Our team will be by your side to help you navigate the complex process of:

  • being listed for a transplant,
  • receiving a donor lung, and
  • recovering from surgery.

Contact Us

Phone: 801-585-3697
Toll-free: 800-456-8341
Fax: 801-213-3969

Email: lungtransplant@hsc.utah.edu

What Is a Lung Transplant?

A lung transplant is an operation in which the surgeon replaces a diseased, failing lung with a healthy lung from a deceased donor. Some people receive one lung, and others need two. In some situations, patients receive two lungs and a new heart.

People who are on a lung transplant waiting list have advanced lung disease that is not responding to therapy. Poor health prevents them from enjoying everyday activities. 

Types of Lung Disease and Transplant Surgery

Our surgeons perform lung transplant surgery for patients with the following conditions:

  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or emphysema, including emphysema resulting from Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD);
  • interstitial lung diseases (ILD), such as 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.

couple walking together
US News & World Report recognition for top hospital in pulmonology and lung surgery

Expert Care From Our Team

At U of U Health, our caring team of lung transplant providers knows what it’s like for patients dealing with advanced lung disease. We are here to provide empathy, support and hope. Our team includes:

  • pulmonary medicine doctors,
  • transplant surgeons,
  • transplant coordinators and other nurses,
  • pharmacists,
  • social workers,
  • registered dietitians,
  • financial specialists, and
  • pulmonary rehabilitation therapists.

More About Our Lung Transplant Team

Find a Lung Transplant Doctor

Lung Transplant Cost

Our financial coordinator will contact your insurance company to make sure your policy will cover a lung transplant. The insurance company will review your records to confirm that you meet all their criteria for a lung transplant.

It is not uncommon for the financial coordinator to recommend patients and families consider fundraising to help with transplant related costs. Our financial coordinators are experts at what kind of fundraising is best to do related to lung transplant.

To contact the transplant financial coordinators, please email txfinancial@hsc.utah.edu.

"It’s the most amazing feeling in the world to be able to breathe. People take it for granted, but it is a miracle. I really liked the transplant team at the University of Utah, they were great with my dad and treated him really well."

—Maylee Lemon
Lung Transplant Patient

Lung Evaluation & Lung Transplant Waiting List

Lung Transplant Evaluation

Before we place you on a waiting list, our team will do an evaluation. Learn more about lung transplant evaluation.

Lung Transplant Waiting List

When all of your test results are available and other appointments have taken place, members of our transplant team will have a selection meeting to review your results.

People are placed on the lung transplant waiting list if:

  • the team agrees that a transplant is medically safe and appropriate for the patient’s specific case and
  • the patient’s insurance company and the hospital’s financial department have provided authorization.

After the team reaches a decision, you will be contacted to meet with one of the doctors and a transplant coordinator to discuss the next steps.

Making an Appointment

To make an appointment with one of our transplant pulmonologists, call 801-585-3697 or 800-456-8341 or request an appointment online. Depending on your insurance plan, you may need a referral from your doctor. Before scheduling your appointment, our team will request medical records from your pulmonologist or your primary care physician to help plan your .

In addition, we offer “Before a Transplant: What to Expect,” an in-depth guide that can help you understand the transplant evaluation process. To receive a printed copy of the guide in the mail, please contact us

Health Insurance & Center of Excellence

Health insurance coverage, contracts, and payment may be subject to changes beyond the control of University of Utah Health. The University of Utah Transplant Department will contact your insurance and verify that your insurance is contracted with our facility and providers.

If your insurance is not contracted, we will attempt a single-case-agreement for transplant services to be performed at the University of Utah. Ultimately the patient is responsible for payment related to all services.

Please reach out to our transplant financial coordinators with any questions related to transplant finances: txfinancial@hsc.utah.edu.