Lung transplantation is a complex procedure, and it may not be the best treatment option for all patients with end-stage pulmonary disease. Doctors in the lung transplantation program carefully evaluate patients for the procedure who meet the following criteria:
The evaluation process includes an initial screening, multiple tests and consultations, and laboratory assessment. Candidates for transplantation are evaluated by the following members of the transplant team:
The complete outpatient testing and consultation process requires three to four full days at the hospital, which may be scheduled over four to six weeks. The transplant team then discusses the test results at the multi-disciplinary team meeting and reviews them with the patient before making a decision on whether to proceed with transplantation.
Patients who are determined to be suitable candidates for lung transplantation are registered with the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), the non-profit organization that maintains the national patient waiting list and organ matching system.
Most patients in the New York region wait an average of six to twelve months before transplantation; this can vary depending on the patient's blood type, which must match that of the donor.
During the waiting period it is critical that patients:
The Center provides educational and support services to patients and their families during this time and after transplantation, including seminars, support groups, counseling services, and reading materials.
Center for Lung Disease and Transplantation