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|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
- Rejection of the donor lung (your body's immune system attacks the new lungs)
- Conditions related to taking immunosuppressant drugs (increase your risk for infection and cancer)
- Anesthesia-related problems
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
- Physical exam
- Blood tests
- Tissue typing
- Electrocardiogram (ECG, EKG) —a test that records the heart's activity by measuring electrical currents through the heart muscle
- Chest CT scan —a type of x-ray that uses a computer to make pictures of the inside of the body
- Echocardiogram —a test that uses sound waves (ultrasound) to examine the size, shape, and motion of the heart
- Pulmonary function tests —tests that 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 —a tube-like instrument inserted into the heart through a vein or artery (usually in the arm or leg) to detect problems with the heart and its blood supply
- Arrange for a ride to and from the hospital. Also, arrange for help at home.
- 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 (eg, aspirin )
- Blood thinners, like clopidogrel (Plavix) or warfarin (Coumadin)
- 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.
- 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
Call Your Doctor
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills—You are at an increased risk for infection because of the immunosuppressive drugs.
- Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or discharge from the incision site
- Cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, or severe nausea or vomiting
- Increased sputum (phlegm) production
- Coughing up blood
- Waking up at night due to shortness of breath
- Sudden headache or feeling faint
- Changes in weight or blood pressure
- Chest pain or sensation of your heart fluttering, missing beats, or beating erratically
- Pain, burning, urgency, frequency of urination, or persistent bleeding in the urine
- Excessive tiredness or swelling of feet
American Lung Association http://www.lungusa.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/index%5Fe.html/
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/ . Updated December 2008. Accessed September 4, 2009.
- Reviewer: Marcin Chwistek, MD
- Review Date: 11/2012 -
- Update Date: 11/26/2012 -
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.
Copyright © EBSCO Publishing
All rights reserved.