A lung transplant is a surgical procedure for disease that has destroyed most of the lungs’ function. For people with severe lung disease, a transplant can bring back easier breathing, enhance life’s quality and provide years of life.
Most people with severe, end-stage lung disease can be considered for a lung transplant. The procedure should be considered when someone seems likely to die without the surgery and no other options are available. A lung transplant can also be considered in people whose lung disease is so severe that they can no longer enjoy life.
The most common lung diseases for which people undergo lung transplant are:
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (emphysema and chronic bronchitis)
- Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
- Cystic fibrosis
- Idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension
- Interstitial lung diseases
Among people with these conditions, lung transplant reasons can vary. For example, in emphysema, lung tissue is destroyed by smoking; in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, scar tissue replaces healthy lung.