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Lung Transplantation Overview

If you have advanced lung disease and you have tried everything else, lung transplantation may provide an alternative. Organ transplants have been shown to improve:

  • quality of life
  • endurance
  • the ability to exercise
  • and even survival in some groups of patients.

Today, lung transplantation is available to many patients. Most of the transplants are for end-stage lung disease resulting from:

  • emphysema
  • pulmonary fibrosis
  • cystic fibrosis
  • complications of other diseases:
  • sarcoidosis
  • collagen vascular disorders
  • pulmonary hypertension


Lung Transplantation Process

Before you receive a lung transplant, your doctor must refer and screen you for eligibility. If you meet all the criteria, you will be put on the lung transplant list. When a lung transplant is available, your hospital will contact you, and you must be ready to go to receive your transplant. Lean more about Before Transplantation – Getting on the Transplant List.

You will then go into surgery. After the operation, you will have a brief period of recovery in the hospital with a breathing tube. Learn more about Lung Transplant Surgery and Recovery.

When you are ready, you will be sent home to continue recovering. Afterwards, your new lungs should last you for the rest of your life. Learn more about Medications for Lung Transplant Patients.



You must watch out for some things during lung transplantation. To prevent your body from rejecting the new lungs, you will take medicine that suppresses your immune system. This will make it easier for you to get infections and malignancies such as tumors. There are also additional medicines to help cover for your immune system while it is suppressed. Learn more from these articles about complications of lung transplantation:


For more information:

Go to the Lung Transplantation health topic.