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About Lung Transplants

Lung transplantation is an option for certain people with interstitial lung disease (ILD). It may be recommended for qualifying people whose condition is rapidly declining or severe.

In order to qualify for a lung transplant, you must meet certain criteria. For one, you must have no other significant health problems, such as cancer; heart, liver, or kidney disease; or chronic incurable infections.

Only your healthcare provider can say whether or not you are a possible candidate for a lung transplant. Medical guidelines recommend that the option of lung transplant be brought up at the time ILD is diagnosed if the individual meets all the criteria for transplant. Before pursuing the option of a lung transplant, you should discuss all the potential risks and benefits with your healthcare provider.

Possible Benefits of Lung Transplantation

Lung transplantation may lead to benefits, such as:

  • Improved life expectancy
  • Improved physical function

Risks of Lung Transplantation

Lung transplantation may lead to certain risks, including:

  • Illness or fatality from the surgical procedure itself
  • Infection or cancer brought on by long-term use of medicines that suppress the immune system
  • Rejection of the donor lung

United Network for Organ Sharing

The lung allocation system (LAS) used by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) has standards for how they evaluate transplant candidates.

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