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Lung Transplant

Breathe easier with a whole new lease on life

OverviewSlice

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).

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).

What to ExpectSlice

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, our experience includes more than 900 patients transplanted. 

During the past four years, IU Health has performed more than 50 lung transplants each year. That places us as a high volume transplant center.

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.

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.     

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.

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

What to Expect

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, our experience includes more than 900 patients transplanted. 

During the past four years, IU Health has performed more than 50 lung transplants each year. That places us as a high volume transplant center.

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.

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.     

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.

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

Preparing for Your TransplantSlice

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, social workers, dietitians and others

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, social workers, dietitians and others

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 TransplantSlice

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, rehabilitation and after care. 

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, rehabilitation and after care. 

Questions to Ask Your ProviderSlice

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 800.382.4602 or email transplantinfo@iuhealth.org.

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Patient Stories for Lung TransplantSlice

Patient Stories for Lung Transplant

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