Lung Transplant

A lung transplant is an invasive procedure that is done to replace a failing or diseased lung with a healthy one from a deceased donor. A lung transplant is the final life-saving step for patients suffering from terminally ill lung failure who have tried medications and other treatments but couldn’t get a respite from complications. While in certain patients, a single lung patient would suffice, others may need the replacement of both lungs. In some cases, the patient might require both lung and heart transplants from the donor. Lung transplant is a complicated surgical procedure that demands state-of-the-art surgical equipment and internationally trained surgeons to helm the procedure. A successful lung transplant, however, brings in a great sigh of relief and tremendously improves the quality of life.

Lung Transplant

What Are The Conditions That Need Lung Transplant?

Lungs are vital organs and are prone to various infections and other chronic conditions that may affect their functioning effectively. The common reasons that can play havoc with lung health include:  

  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis or Scarring of the Lungs
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Pulmonary Hypertension or High Blood Pressure in the lungs
  • Patients suffering from coronary artery disease, along with poor
  • lung function, may cause a combined heart-lung transplant

How Is Lung Transplant Done?

If your doctor feels that a lung transplant is the only way forward to save a life, you will be put on a waiting list for a donor. When a donor organ is available, certain tests are done to determine the medical compatibility between the donor and the recipient.

The checklist of tests involves:

  • Blood type
  • Size of the organ compared to the size of the chest the cavity of the recipient
  • The overall health of the recipient
  • Medical compatibilities between the donor and recipient

During the procedure performed under general anesthesia, the surgeon will make a cut in the chest to remove a diseased lung. The main airway of that lung and the blood vessels and heart are connected to the donor’s lung. In certain cases, the patient’s heart may be connected to a heart-lung bypass machine, which takes over the functioning of circulating blood through the body till the procedure is complete.

After the procedure, the patient will be wheeled into the intensive care unit, and the progress is monitored. The patient will breathe on the ventilator, which will be weaned off slowly, and medications will reduce the risk of rejection.


The patient may have to spend a few weeks in the hospital after transplantation.

Yes. Your doctor will monitor the functioning of the lungs for the next few months to a year to detect any signs of rejection and complications.

The recipient of a Lung transplant needs to be on immunosuppressants and other medication for the rest of their life to reduce the risk of infections and rejection of the organ by the body.

The success rate of a lung transplant is around 50-60%.

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