Lung Transplant

Breathe easier with a whole new lease on life

If you suffer from a lung disease, breathing can become very difficult and you are no longer able to enjoy life. Serious lung diseases with symptoms that can no longer be improved with other treatments may require a lung transplant.

Lung transplant is used to treat lung diseases such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cystic fibrosis and pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH).

Lung Transplant Overview

If you suffer from a lung disease, breathing can become very difficult and you are no longer able to enjoy life. Serious lung diseases with symptoms that can no longer be improved with other treatments may require a lung transplant.

Lung transplant is used to treat lung diseases such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cystic fibrosis and pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH).

Our Expertise

For more than 25 years, our Thoracic Transplant team has performed lung transplants at IU Health Methodist Hospital. As the state's only lung transplant program, we are a high volume transplant center and our experience includes more than 900 patients transplanted.

In addition, as one of the few hospitals in Indiana to qualify under the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to perform Lung Volume Reduction Surgery (LVRS), we’re helping patients with severe emphysema to breathe easier.

Overview

Lung transplant surgery involves removing your diseased lung and replacing it with a healthy lung from an organ donor. Lung transplant is indicated for end-stage lung disease such as the following conditions:

  • Interstitial lung disease (idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, sarcoidosis, collagen vascular associated lung disease, occupational exposure)
  • COPD/Emphysema/Alpha-one antitrypsin deficiency
  • Cystic fibrosis/Chronic bronchiectasis
  • Pulmonary arterial hypertension
  • Rare lung disease

Types of Lung Transplant

There are three types of lung transplants that can be performed. The transplant team will determine which type of procedure is best suited to your individual needs.

  • Single lung transplant: transplant of only one lung
  • Double lung transplant: transplant of both lungs
  • Heart-lung transplant: transplant of both lungs and the heart, taken from a single donor.

Center of Life for Thoracic Transplant (COLTT)

COLTT Center Rehab Track

The Center of Life for Thoracic Transplant, one of only a few centers of its kind in the country, allows our multidisciplinary team to work with patients before and after their lung transplant surgery to promote successful outcomes. The COLTT is conveniently located next to IU Health Methodist Hospital and the Advanced Heart and Lung Care Clinic.

The COLTT features:

  • A 300-foot rubberized circular indoor track
  • A variety of cardiovascular and weight-training equipment
  • A physical therapy room
  • A classroom for nutritional education and patient support
  • Fully staffed by physical therapists and respiratory therapists
  • Access to transplant dietitians and a transplant psychologist for ongoing support and counseling
  • Close proximity to lung transplant physicians and clinical coordinators

Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation

For patients who need very specialized respiratory support both before and after lung transplant, our center has a Transition Through Transplant Program and an Ambulatory ECMO Program. Both our adult and pediatric EMCO programs are accredited by the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO) and are the only certified programs in the state of Indiana.

In 2018, ELSO named IU Health Methodist Hospital a platinum level Center of Excellence in Life Support. This distinction is the highest level of excellence by ELSO to recognize centers for having processes, procedures and systems in place that promote exceptional patient care in extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.

At that time, IU Health Methodist Hospital was one of only 14 programs out of 686 ECLS Centers registered with ELSO around the world to have earned this elite status and one of only four in the United States. In 2019, Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health was also recognized as a gold level Center of Excellence in Life Support.

    Ex-vivo Lung Perfusion

    Since 2013, our team has been participating in translational research that is critical for expanding the number of suitable lungs available for patients awaiting lung transplantation. Nationally, only 15 percent of solid organ donors are suitable lung donors.

    Of the remaining 85 percent, a significant number are potentially salvageable utilizing ex-vivo lung perfusion. The ex-vivo technology allows donor lungs to be warmed to body temperature, perfused utilizing a specialized solution, and ventilated outside of a human body.

    This allows up to 6 hours of additional time for the lung transplant team to determine whether or not these lungs are suitable for transplantation. In contrast, when lungs are procured and transported in an iced state, time for further evaluation and therapeutic maneuvers to prepare the lungs for the recipient is not possible.

    By offering ex-vivo lung perfusion at IU Health, our volumes and outcomes have increased resulting in a better quality of life for more patients.

    What to Expect with Lung Transplant

    Our Expertise

    For more than 25 years, our Thoracic Transplant team has performed lung transplants at IU Health Methodist Hospital. As the state's only lung transplant program, we are a high volume transplant center and our experience includes more than 900 patients transplanted.

    In addition, as one of the few hospitals in Indiana to qualify under the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to perform Lung Volume Reduction Surgery (LVRS), we’re helping patients with severe emphysema to breathe easier.

    Overview

    Lung transplant surgery involves removing your diseased lung and replacing it with a healthy lung from an organ donor. Lung transplant is indicated for end-stage lung disease such as the following conditions:

    • Interstitial lung disease (idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, sarcoidosis, collagen vascular associated lung disease, occupational exposure)
    • COPD/Emphysema/Alpha-one antitrypsin deficiency
    • Cystic fibrosis/Chronic bronchiectasis
    • Pulmonary arterial hypertension
    • Rare lung disease

    Types of Lung Transplant

    There are three types of lung transplants that can be performed. The transplant team will determine which type of procedure is best suited to your individual needs.

    • Single lung transplant: transplant of only one lung
    • Double lung transplant: transplant of both lungs
    • Heart-lung transplant: transplant of both lungs and the heart, taken from a single donor.

    Center of Life for Thoracic Transplant (COLTT)

    COLTT Center Rehab Track

    The Center of Life for Thoracic Transplant, one of only a few centers of its kind in the country, allows our multidisciplinary team to work with patients before and after their lung transplant surgery to promote successful outcomes. The COLTT is conveniently located next to IU Health Methodist Hospital and the Advanced Heart and Lung Care Clinic.

    The COLTT features:

    • A 300-foot rubberized circular indoor track
    • A variety of cardiovascular and weight-training equipment
    • A physical therapy room
    • A classroom for nutritional education and patient support
    • Fully staffed by physical therapists and respiratory therapists
    • Access to transplant dietitians and a transplant psychologist for ongoing support and counseling
    • Close proximity to lung transplant physicians and clinical coordinators

    Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation

    For patients who need very specialized respiratory support both before and after lung transplant, our center has a Transition Through Transplant Program and an Ambulatory ECMO Program. Both our adult and pediatric EMCO programs are accredited by the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO) and are the only certified programs in the state of Indiana.

    In 2018, ELSO named IU Health Methodist Hospital a platinum level Center of Excellence in Life Support. This distinction is the highest level of excellence by ELSO to recognize centers for having processes, procedures and systems in place that promote exceptional patient care in extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.

    At that time, IU Health Methodist Hospital was one of only 14 programs out of 686 ECLS Centers registered with ELSO around the world to have earned this elite status and one of only four in the United States. In 2019, Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health was also recognized as a gold level Center of Excellence in Life Support.

      Ex-vivo Lung Perfusion

      Since 2013, our team has been participating in translational research that is critical for expanding the number of suitable lungs available for patients awaiting lung transplantation. Nationally, only 15 percent of solid organ donors are suitable lung donors.

      Of the remaining 85 percent, a significant number are potentially salvageable utilizing ex-vivo lung perfusion. The ex-vivo technology allows donor lungs to be warmed to body temperature, perfused utilizing a specialized solution, and ventilated outside of a human body.

      This allows up to 6 hours of additional time for the lung transplant team to determine whether or not these lungs are suitable for transplantation. In contrast, when lungs are procured and transported in an iced state, time for further evaluation and therapeutic maneuvers to prepare the lungs for the recipient is not possible.

      By offering ex-vivo lung perfusion at IU Health, our volumes and outcomes have increased resulting in a better quality of life for more patients.

      You will be assigned a pre-transplant coordinator to help you navigate the steps leading up to your transplant. You will also meet with members of our dedicated multidisciplinary lung transplant team that includes:

      • Transplant-specialized doctors
      • Surgeons
      • Psychologists
      • Pharmacists
      • Respiratory therapists and physical therapists
      • Social workers
      • Dietitians

      Once you become a candidate for a lung transplant, you want to be in the best shape going into the procedure. Our pre-transplant conditioning program includes both physical and respiratory therapies to help maximize survival rates.

      Preparing for Your Transplant

      You will be assigned a pre-transplant coordinator to help you navigate the steps leading up to your transplant. You will also meet with members of our dedicated multidisciplinary lung transplant team that includes:

      • Transplant-specialized doctors
      • Surgeons
      • Psychologists
      • Pharmacists
      • Respiratory therapists and physical therapists
      • Social workers
      • Dietitians

      Once you become a candidate for a lung transplant, you want to be in the best shape going into the procedure. Our pre-transplant conditioning program includes both physical and respiratory therapies to help maximize survival rates.

      After your transplant, taking care of yourself is very important and your post-transplant coordinator will be there to support and guide you through your recovery and after care.

      Rehabilitation to increase your post-surgery strength will take place at the Center of Life for Thoracic Transplant (COLTT).

      After Your Transplant

      After your transplant, taking care of yourself is very important and your post-transplant coordinator will be there to support and guide you through your recovery and after care.

      Rehabilitation to increase your post-surgery strength will take place at the Center of Life for Thoracic Transplant (COLTT).

      Breathing easier – rehab at COLTT Center gives patient his life back Patient Stories January 24, 2019 Breathing easier – rehab at COLTT Center gives patient his life back After a double lung transplant, Greenwood man is ready to get back to hiking and biking. It was during a hike at Yosemite Nati...

      You will probably have a lot of questions about your lung transplant procedure. Some of the questions you might ask include:

      • Why do I need a transplant? Are there any other options?
      • What is the approximate wait time for a lung transplant?
      • How is the procedure done?
      • Will I be in much pain afterward?
      • How long will recovery take?
      • Will I need special medication afterward?
      • Will I be able to resume normal activities? Are there any activities I cannot do?

      Be sure to write down these or other questions you may have. We strongly recommend you bring along a partner or a good friend who can help you by listening and also taking notes.

      Questions to Ask Your Provider

      You will probably have a lot of questions about your lung transplant procedure. Some of the questions you might ask include:

      • Why do I need a transplant? Are there any other options?
      • What is the approximate wait time for a lung transplant?
      • How is the procedure done?
      • Will I be in much pain afterward?
      • How long will recovery take?
      • Will I need special medication afterward?
      • Will I be able to resume normal activities? Are there any activities I cannot do?

      Be sure to write down these or other questions you may have. We strongly recommend you bring along a partner or a good friend who can help you by listening and also taking notes.

      Learn More

      For more information about the lung transplant program, call 800.510.2725 or email transplantinfo@iuhealth.org.

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      Patient Stories for Lung Transplant