Lung transplant is a surgical procedure to replace diseased or failing lung with a healthy lung, usually from donor depending on the medical condition. It may involve replacing one or both of the lungs. Diseases which can damage your lungs are;
- COPD (chronic obstructive lung disease)
- Pulmonary fibrosis (scarring of the lungs)
- Cystic fibrosis
- Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension
The disease process starts with decreasing oxygen levels in the blood and as it progresses. Oxygen will have to be given continuously to the patient. At this stage usually lung transplant is done. The matching of the person with the donor from whom lung is to be taken is done on basis of: blood type, size of organ (by comparing the rate and chest measurement) and also matching of the tissue typing elements.
The patient will be investigated and put on waiting list of the “Jeevandan” organ donation program. When a suitable donor is available, a team prepares the patient for the transplant surgery. Another team will be sent for procuring the organ. The patient's chest will be opened and the diseased lung will be removed. The airway and the blood vessels will be connected to the donor lung.
After the surgery patient will have to spend a few days in the ICU, and the bronchoscopy will be done as and when required. After discharge from the hospital, there will be three months of frequent monitoring by the lung transplantation team. The patient is prescribed immunosuppressant medications, which need to be taken life-long.