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Lung Transplant
What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

What is Lung Transplant?

This is a surgery to remove severely diseased and damaged lungs. They are replaced with healthy lungs from a deceased donor. One or both lungs may be transplanted. In some cases, a heart transplant is done at the same time. In that case, the procedure is called a heart-lung transplant .

A lung transplant is done to treat irreversible, life-threatening lung disease, such as:

  • End-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) , which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (a genetic disorder)
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Severe scarring or inflammation of the bronchioles (smallest airways)

Normal vs. Emphysemic Lung
Normal vs. Emphysemic Lung
© 2009 Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Possible Complications

If you are planning to have a lung transplant, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • 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
  • Death

Be sure to discuss these risks with your doctor before the procedure.

Call Your Doctor

After you leave the hospital, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:

  • 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...