A lung transplant for Pulmonary Fibrosis can help improve survivability and quality of life, but how do you know if you’re eligible. If your condition has become severe and you meet the right criteria, a lung transplant for may be considered.
A lung transplant for Pulmonary Fibrosis can help improve survivability and quality of life, but how do you know if you’re eligible and what should you consider? If your condition has become severe and you meet the right criteria, a lung transplant for may be an option.
What does a lung transplant involve?
A lung transplant is a major and very complex surgery. There are several types of lung transplant, including single and and double lung. The procedure itself takes between 4-8hrs and you’ll need to stay in hospital for two-three weeks afterwards. The waiting time for an appropriate donor lung/s will vary. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee a transplant will become available.
When is a lung transplant an option?
There are a number of factors that will need to be considered before you may be eligible for a lung transplant for Pulmonary Fibrosis. This includes:
- Your age and general conditioning
- The severity of your condition
- The impact yourAn action plan can assist recovering from a COPD flare-up condition has on your quality of life
- Lifestyle factors – malnutrition, alcohol consumption and tobacco use will be considered
- Other health factors – a transplant may not be an option if you have a recent malignancy, a chronic resistant infection, organ dysfunction or other surgical factors.
How successful are lung transplants?
A lung transplant for Pulmonary Fibrosis can improve life expectancy and quality of life. There has been a steady improvement internationally in the number of years’ people survive post-transplant in the past 20 years. The median life expectancy after bilateral sequential lung transplantation is just under eight years.
About 50 per cent of those who have a transplant are alive after five years. If a patient survives the first year, the outcomes look even brighter, with 50 per cent alive 7.3 years after surgery.
How much improvement will I see in my day-to-day life after a lung transplant?
There are many benefits such as improved ability to exercise, work or manage your household, but there are also adjustments and challenges to consider. Research shows two in three people manage day-to-day life with few limitations after three years. But over time the risk of complications such as renal disease, diabetes, chronic rejection and cancer risk (particularly skin) rises. A lung transplant means managing a new chronic health condition in itself. Following a lung transplant for Pulmonary Fibrosis, you will have regular tests such as x-rays, lung function tests and biopsies. Lifelong immunosuppressive medication will help stop your body rejecting the transplanted organ and antibiotics will help to prevent common infections. Pulmonary rehabilitation will help prepare you for the surgery and is really important to help you recover after.
Online transplant support group
If you’ve had a lung transplant or caring for someone who has, join our online peer support group, established in collaboration with the Lungitude Foundation. It’s a place to share experiences and tips for managing the practical and emotional challenges of the lung transplant journey.