Lung transplant is an ideal treatment for disorders that has damaged one or pair of a lung, thereby hampering its functions. It involves the surgical replacement of the diseased lungs, one or both lungs, with a healthy lung from a donor. It is the best option for patients who have unsuccessfully tried all other treatment modalities, including devices for their lung disorder.

Lung transplant is performed on those who cannot recover from the symptoms like lung cancer, chest pain, severe cough, high fever, breathing problem, decreased peak flow, severe flu, and other pulmonary and lung diseases require treatment.

Before starting the lung Transplant procedure, you have to submit the medical reports which involve a blood test, tissue typing tests, chest X-Ray, lung functioning tests, CT Scan, and many more.

Lung Transplant surgery is a complicated procedure where the diseased lung of the recipient is replaced with the healthy lung of the donor by inducing anaesthesia. It takes eight to ten hours approximately in lung transplant surgery.


General FAQs of Lung Transplant

The lung diseases refer to various disorders that affect not only the lungs, but also its associated organs that enable us to breathe. That is why, in every lung disease, breathing problems occur, and the body does not get an adequate amount of oxygen.

  • Most of the people suffering from severe, end-stage lung disease are candidates of a lung transplant.
  • Any disorder that damages the lungs to the extent that it could not fulfill the oxygen demands of the various body parts may need a lung transplant for survival. There are a variety of lung disorders that can damage the lungs and hinder their ability to function effectively, such as:
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including emphysema and chronic bronchitis
  • Pulmonary fibrosis or scarring of the lungs
  • Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Severe bronchiectasis
  • Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Lymphangioleiomyomatosis
  • In most of the lung transplants, a donor is a deceased person who was healthy and disease free before death. The lung is transplanted when the person died in some accident rather than any disease.
  • This may take several months to wait for the right donor who is compatible with the recipient.

It is better to have a lung donated by your family member as there are fewer chances of rejection as compared to a donated lung from an unrelated donor.

Both the donor and recipient will stay in the hospital for a few days after the transplant. The recipient may need to stay longer

Your lung transplant surgeon will recommend you to submit the medical reports of:

  • Chest X-ray
  • Computed tomography (CT scan) of the chest
  • Spirometry
  • Pulmonary function tests
  • Coronary artery catheterization
  • Electrocardiogram
  • Cardiac stress test
  • Echocardiogram
  • General metabolic laboratory tests
  • Coagulation studies
  • Complete blood count
  • Bone mineral density test
  • Colonoscopy
  • Pap smear and mammogram (women) etc.

These tests will help the lung transplant surgeon to detect your lung disease required for a lung transplant. After these tests confirm the eligibility status of the patient, the next step is to evaluate both patient and donor for compatibility. This requires the following criteria:

  • Blood Type Testing
  • Tissue Typing
  • Cross-match
  • Serology

These tests are needed to match a donor lung to the recipient and transplant is planned only after confirming the match.

  • The lung transplant surgery takes a few hours and is done under general anesthesia

  • In some cases, a heart-lung bypass machine is used during transplantation to circulate blood during the transplant procedure

Lung transplant surgery can be done for one lung or both:

  • Single lung: Transplant of only one lung
  • Double lung: Transplant of both lungs
  • Bilateral sequential (bilateral single): Transplant of both lungs, but one transplant was done at one time
  • Heart-lung transplant: Transplant of both lungs and the heart from a single donor

Both donor and recipient will stay in the hospital for a few days after transplant. The recipient may need to stay longer.

Benefits of Lung Transplant are:

  • Increases chances of survival and adds years to your life
  • Freedom from long-term dependence of breathing devices
  • Yes. Lung transplant surgery will help you breathe normally and lead a healthy life

  • You will be able to live an active, full, life with very less or no limitations on physical activity.

  • You will be happier as the Lung Transplant will improve your quality of life.

  • Lower treatment cost – your medical expenses will be drastically reduced

The lung transplant cost estimates 30,000-45,000 USD.

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