Who Should Have Lung Transplantation?
Lung transplants are a last-resort treatment for irreversible lung failure brought on by disease. Lung failure occurs when the lungs are damaged and unable to transfer oxygen and carbon dioxide to and away from cells. Only patients who have severely damaged lungs that cannot be helped by other therapies are eligible for transplantation. It is always better to try all the available treatments with your own lungs before considering a transplant.
If no other treatments are possible, and if the patient does not have certain risk factors (e.g., body weight too high or low; serious heart, liver, or kidney disease; current smoker; inability to follow a long-term health plan), then they may be a candidate for lung transplantation. Testing as described in the previous section is still required.
The conditions that most commonly lead to end-stage lung disease requiring transplantation include:
Why Choose Temple?
Established in 1994, the Temple Lung Transplantation Program is one of the most experienced and well-respected in the Mid-Atlantic region. Consider these facts:
- The Temple team has performed over 540 lung or heart/lung transplants since its founding.
- Temple consistently ranks as one of the top five programs in the nation each year, based on the number of transplants performed.
- Temple’s transplant team includes renowned pulmonologist Dr. Gerard Criner and transplant surgeons Drs. Norihisa Shigemura and Yoshiya Toyoda.
- The program is certified by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) for lung transplantation, and is Joint Commission-certified for lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS).
Expanding to Meet the Needs of Patients
Over the past two decades, the Temple Lung Center has expanded to meet the growing regional need for transplantation options for patients with COPD, pulmonary fibrosis, or other severe lung ailments. Today, the program consists of a dedicated team of surgeons, pulmonologists, immunologists, psychologists, nurse specialists, technicians, counselors, nutritionists, and financial coordinators. This team is led by internationally renowned transplant surgeon Yoshiya Toyoda, MD, PhD, who pioneered the antero-axillary approach in lung transplantation, a minimally invasive form of surgery that avoids many complications of the standard procedure.
Teamwork that Leads to Advancement
Temple surgeons collaborate with Temple pulmonologists to evaluate patients for potential procedures (transplantation or other) and to coordinate pre- and post-surgical tests and procedures. They are also engaged in research aimed at improving lung transplantation outcomes, including studies on preservation of donated organs, immunosuppressive medications, antibiotic use, echocardiographic evaluation of patients, alternative therapies for wait-listed patients, and minimally invasive therapies.
When Transplant Is Not an Option
While there is no question that transplantation can be a life-saving step for a patient with advanced lung disease, not all patients are ideal candidates for surgery. Temple clinicians consider all treatment options, including medical options, as alternatives for every new patient being evaluated for transplantation. These options are changing fast and Temple pulmonologists and critical care specialists can evaluate the pros and cons of the full range of novel drug therapies, biotech agents, devices, special procedures, and surgeries for each patient, depending on their unique clinical situation and preferences.
Ready for an Appointment?
Find a doctor near you, request an appointment, or call 800-TEMPLE-MED (800-836-7536) today.