Your doctor may recommend a lung transplant if you have severe lung disease that's getting worse. If your condition is so serious that other treatments don't work, a lung transplant may be the only option.
Lung transplants most often are used to treat people who have severe:
Lung transplants are done in medical centers (large hospitals) where the staff has a lot of organ transplant experience. If you need a lung transplant, you must apply to a center's transplant program.
Transplant teams at the medical center manage all parts of the center's transplant program. Transplant team members may include a:
Other team members may include a social worker, psychiatrist, financial coordinator, and other specialists and medical personnel, such as a nutritionist and nurses.
The transplant team will need to find out whether you're a candidate for a lung transplant. They will want to make sure you're healthy enough to have the surgery and go through a recovery program.
To do this, they will ask about your medical history. The team will want to know whether you have other serious illnesses or conditions, such as cancer, HIV, or hepatitis. They also will ask whether you've had a major chest surgery. A previous chest surgery may make it hard to do a lung transplant.
The team also will want to know whether you smoke or use alcohol or drugs.
You also will have tests to show whether you're healthy enough for a lung transplant. Tests may include:
You'll talk with team members to make sure you're mentally and emotionally willing to accept the risks of the transplant process and later treatment. The team may ask whether you have a good support network of family and friends.
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