Lung Transplantation

What is the job of your lungs?

All cells in the human body need oxygen to live. When cells use oxygen, they produce carbon dioxide.

The most important task of your lungs is to provide the oxygen your body needs and remove carbon dioxide. Oxygen goes in when you breathe in, carbon dioxide comes out when you exhale. The oxygen that enters is carried to the cells through the blood in your veins. Carbon dioxide in the cells also passes into the blood and is carried to the lungs to be excreted.

Your heart also pumps blood to the cells through the veins.

When your lungs are healthy, you are not aware that you are breathing. However, you are aware of your breathing when the cells’ need for oxygen increases, as when exercising, or when carbon dioxide cannot be removed.

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How do you know if your lung health is deteriorating?

If your lungs are not healthy, you will feel short of breath and tired almost all day. Unhealthy lungs cannot enter oxygen and excrete carbon dioxide for body cells. Your cells send signals and your breathing increases. This constant breathing effort and fatigue reduces your quality of life. If your condition does not improve despite medication and oxygen therapy, you may be a candidate for a lung transplant.

Which lung diseases are suitable for Lung Transplantation?
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Bronchiectasis
  • Lymphangiomyomatosis(LAM)
  • Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis
  • Primary Pulmonary Hypertension
  • Other Rare Diseases
How is the type of lung transplant determined?

In lung transplantation, the blood group, height-weight compatibility between the recipient and the donor is checked.

Whether it will be done unilaterally or bilaterally is decided by the lung transplant team according to the condition of your disease and the donor (donated) lung.

Who are the suitable candidates for Lung Transplantation procedure?

Lung transplant should be an effective treatment for your disease,

You must have progressive and severe lung disease that no longer responds to medications,

You must be willing to accept the risks of surgery and subsequent drug therapy.

The physical strength, psychological and social conditions should be sufficient for the transplantation and post-transplant treatment applications,

Even if the answer is yes to all these, there are additional diseases (obesity, extreme weakness, kidney failure, liver disease, cancer, etc.) or conditions (non-compliance with previous treatments, living alone, poor home living conditions, etc.) that may worsen the surgery and subsequent strong drug therapy. If you do, the transplant team may not consider you a suitable candidate.

How will your lung transplant candidacy be determined?

Referral by the pulmonologist to the lung transplant center does not automatically mean that you will be accepted into the candidate list. Your physical, psychological and social conditions will be evaluated. A preliminary interview will be held with you and your family. If necessary, some tests will be done at the transplant center.

These examinations are:

HEART:

  • ECG
  • ECHO

Right heart catheterization (for heart and lung pressure measurements)

LUNG:

  • Pulmonary function test and Diffusion test
  • Perfusion scintigraphy
  • Lung tomography
  • Arterial blood gas
  • 6 minutes walking test

OTHER:

  • Blood compatibility test (PRA)
  • Blood and ultrasound tests to evaluate the condition of other organs
  • Sputum urine cultures to evaluate infection in the body
  • Bone resorption test
  • Dietitian, psychologist, social worker evaluation
  • Vaccination program
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