What is a Lung Transplant?

A lung transplant is a procedure in which either one (single) or both (double) lungs are removed and replaced with healthy lungs from a deceased donor. The decision to do a single or double lung transplant is based on several factors, including the underlying lung disease, age of the patient, prior surgery in the chest, and most important, availability of donor lungs. 

A lung transplant is a high-risk procedure, but most patients achieve benefits after transplant. Most patients come off oxygen and can function normally on room air. Many are able to return to work, engage in regular daily activities, travel, and live a normal life.

Lung Surgeries We Perform

There are short-term and long-term risks related to lung transplant, which our team will fully discuss during your evaluation. All patients who get a lung transplant will require medications to prevent your body from rejecting the new lungs. These medications are called immunosuppressants, and they must be taken for life.

In order for you to decide if you want to proceed with a lung transplant, our team will help you and your family understand the risks, benefits, and alternate treatment options, if any. Together, we’ll help you make an informed decision about transplant.

Our specialized team is highly skilled in performing a range of procedures, including all aspects of minimally invasive thoracic surgery for both benign and malignant diseases, such as the following:

  • Lung transplantation (single and double)
  • Lung volume reduction surgery
  • Surgery for Chronic Thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH)

In addition, we offer antifibrotics, which are state-of-the-art medications used to treat lung disease.

Our patients also have access to the newest procedures and techniques through clinical trial enrollments.

Bloodless Medicine Services

Out of respect for our patients’ beliefs and values, our lung transplant team is pleased to offer bloodless medicine and surgery services. Our surgeons are experienced in facilitating the specialized procedures and pharmaceuticals that avoid the use of transfused blood and its components. 

Recovery and Life After Transplantation

The typical hospital stay following a lung transplant procedure lasts 14 to 21 days. You will initially recover in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), and after a few days you will be transferred to a regular floor for the rest of your hospitalization. The most important part of recovery following a lung transplant is physical therapy, which will be done at least twice daily throughout your hospital stay.

Once you are ready for discharge home, our transplant coordinator will hold an extensive teaching session with you and your caregivers, which will include information about medications, signs and symptoms to report, and follow-up appointments.

The first three months after the transplant procedure will be the most challenging, with follow-up appointments that can be as frequent as once or twice a week. However, as you feel stronger and get used to new medications, life slowly starts going back to normal. Most patients come off oxygen, return to work, and resume regular daily activities.