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.
- Talk to your doctor about your medications. You may be asked to stop taking some medications up to one week before the procedure.
- Your doctor may ask you to stop taking some medications up to one week before the procedure.
- 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
- Taking immunosuppressive drugs to prevent your body from rejecting the new lung
- Lung biopsies at regular intervals to check for lung rejection
- Blood tests
- X-rays and EKGs
- Measuring and tracking your temperature, weight, and blood pressure
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
Call Your Doctor
- Signs of rejection including fever, chills, achiness like the flu, shortness of breath, decreased ability to exercise
- Signs of infection including fever and chills
- Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or any discharge from the incision site
- Persistent nausea and/or vomiting
- Pain that you can't control with the medications you were given
- Coughing up blood
- Waking up at night due to being short of breath
- Increase in phlegm production
- Pain, burningSudden headache or feeling faint
- Changes in blood pressure or weight
- , urgency, frequency of urination, or persistent bleeding in the urine
- Fast breathing or trouble breathing
- Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
- Chest pain that is new or worse
- Blue or gray skin color
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
Explore lung transplant. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/lungtxp. Updated. May 1, 2011. Accessed August 15, 2014.
Lung transplant. Duke Medicine website. Available at: http://www.dukemedicine.org/treatments/transplant-program/lung-transplant. Accessed August 15, 2014.
Lung transplant. Mayo Clinic.com website. Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/lung-transplant/basics/definition/prc-20014091. Updated April 26, 2014. Accessed August 15, 2014.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 08/2014 -
- Update Date: 09/30/2013 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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