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Lung transplant

Trasplantament pulmonar a Vall d'Hebron

The lung transplant consists of replacing one or two sick lungs with healthy lungs. In general, transplants are carried out when there is a disease that involves severe and progressive chronic respiratory failure. Lung transplants started in 1981 in California. In Catalonia, this type of intervention is carried out exclusively at Vall d'Hebron University Hospital, for both children and adults.


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Who may need a lung transplant?

Currently, 4,000 lung transplants are carried out every year around the world, including children and adults, especially in Europe, the United States, Canada and Australia. In the case of Catalonia, nine lung transplants are carried out per million inhabitants, a figure that puts us at the top of the tables. Our experience ranges from month-old babies to 70-year-olds.


What is the survival rate for lung transplants?

Normally, it is a pneumologist with a patient with chronic respiratory insufficiency who contacts the Lung Transplant Unit for both adults and children at the Vall d'Hebron Hospital. From that first point of contact, the patient will be assessed by a multidisciplinary team in order to offer the best option, which might involve a transplant or simply medical treatment. It is important to remember that people who undergo lung transplants need to be strong enough to both wait for the operation and recover from it. This is a fundamental, complex requirement that must be met if the transplant is to provide benefits for the patient.

The survival rates for lung transplants are very positive. More than half of all patients are still alive after five years of the operation, and one in three patients after ten years. However, the goal of specialists is to continue researching to improve these results and prevent chronic rejection, and all the factors that lead to this complication.


What treatment should a lung transplant patient receive?

Patients undergoing lung transplants must take an immunosuppressive therapy and prophylactics for an extended period of time. Most of these treatments are oral and in some cases may be inhaled.


What lifestyle should patients follow after a lung transplant?

In order to prevent complications, the medical advice given by your doctor should be followed precisely, avoid stress or over-exertion and make sure you follow the medication plan exactly. Aside from that, you can expect to lead a normal life.

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