November is Lung Month

November 2020 has been dedicated to lung health worldwide, especially lung cancer awareness. The CDTRP is proud to count on a number of lung recipients who have served on committees and research projects over the year.

Almost 10 projects within the CDTRP involve lung research and we are happy to support the advancement of technology and resources for better lung health. Here below are a few need-to-know facts about lung transplant.

If you would like to learn more about one of the projects the CDTRP supports, please click here to view the presentation.

Learn more about participating in research as a collaborator or patient, family or donor here.

What is a lung transplant?

A lung transplant is surgery done to remove a diseased lung and replace it with a healthy lung from another person. The surgery may be done for one lung or for both. Lung transplants can be done on people of almost all ages from newborns to adults up to age 65 and sometimes even later.

Types of lung transplant procedures include:

  • Single lung: This is the transplant of one lung.
  • Double lung: This is the transplant of both lungs.
  • Bilateral sequential: This is the transplant of both lungs, done one at a time. It’s also called bilateral single.
  • Heart-lung transplant: This is the transplant of both lungs and the heart taken from a single donor.

Most lungs that are transplanted come from deceased organ donors. This type of transplant is called a cadaveric transplant. Healthy, nonsmoking adults who are a good match may be able to donate part of one of their lungs. The part of the lung is called a lobe. This type of transplant is called a living transplant. People who donate a lung lobe can live healthy lives with the remaining lungs.

Why might I need a lung transplant?

A lung transplant may be advised for someone who:

  • Has serious lung problems that can’t be improved with any other treatment, and
  • Has a life expectancy of 12 to 24 months without a transplant

A lung transplant may be needed for the following conditions:

  • Severe cystic fibrosis (CF). This is an inherited disease that causes problems in the glands that make sweat and mucus. It is ongoing, gets worse over time, and is usually fatal.
  • Bronchopulmonary dysplasia or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). These are lung diseases that can interfere with normal breathing.
  • Pulmonary hypertension. This is increased blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs.
  • Heart disease. Heart disease or heart defects that affect the lungs may need a heart-lung transplant.
  • Pulmonary fibrosis. This is scarring of the lungs.
  • Other diseases. Other conditions that can cause severe lung damage include sarcoidosis , histiocytosis , and lymphangioleiomyomatosis. Also, certain hereditary conditions can affect the lungs.

Not all people with these conditions need a lung transplant. A lung transplant is not advised as a treatment for lung cancer. Your healthcare provider may have other reasons to advise a lung transplant.