Reasons for Procedure
- End-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) , which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema
- Cystic fibrosis
- Pulmonary hypertension
- Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (a genetic disorder)
- Severe scarring or inflammation of the bronchioles (smallest airways)
|Normal vs. Emphysemic Lung|
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- Rejection of the donor lung (your body's immune system attacks the new lungs)
Conditions related to taking immunosuppressant drugs
- Kidney damage
- Anesthesia-related problems
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
- Physical exam
- Blood tests
- Tissue typing
- Electrocardiogram (EKG)
- Chest CT scan —to look at the lung structure
- Echocardiogram —to examine the size, shape, and motion of the heart
- Pulmonary function tests —to measure the function of the lungs
- Ventilation-perfusion lung scan—a test that examines the movement of blood and air through the lungs
- Cardiac catheterization —to detect problems with the heart and its blood supply
- Arrange for a ride to the hospital.
- Take medicine as directed. Check with your doctor before taking over-the-counter medicine.
Talk to your doctor about your medicines. You may be asked to stop taking some medicines up to one week before the procedure, like:
- Anti-inflammatory drugs (such as, aspirin )
- Blood thinners, like clopidogrel or warfarin
- Eat a light meal the night before. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight.
Description of the Procedure
Immediately After Procedure
How Long Will It Take?
- 4-8 hours for a single lung transplant
- 6-12 hours for a double lung transplant
How Much Will It Hurt?
Average Hospital Stay
- Take immunosuppressive drugs. These drugs will help to prevent your body from rejecting the new lung. Only take drugs approved by your doctor.
. A sample of lung tissue will be taken at regular intervals to check for lung rejection:
- Every three months the first year
- Twice a year the second year
- Once a year in subsequent years
- Have blood tests done.
- You may need chest X-rays and EKGs.
- Measure your temperature, weight, and blood pressure levels regularly.
Make lifestyle changes, such as:
- Avoiding exposure to tobacco smoke and other toxic elements
- Exercising regularly to help maintain lung capacity
- Limiting your intake of salt, foods high in fat and cholesterol, sweets, and alcohol
American Lung Association http://www.lung.org
United Network for Organ Sharing http://www.transplantliving.org
Canadian Lung Association http://www.lung.ca
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Lung transplant. Mayo Clinic.com website. Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/lung-transplant/MY00106 . Updated September 2010. Accessed November 12, 2010.
Organ transplant. Duke University Medical Center website. Available at: http://organtransplant.mc.duke.edu/transplant.html. Accessed October 14, 2005.
What is a lung transplant? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/lungtxp/ . Updated December 2008. Accessed September 4, 2009.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 09/2013 -
- Update Date: 09/30/2013 -