The world's longest double-lung transplant patient dies at 60 in North Carolina. In 1990, Howell Graham was so weakened by cystic fibrosis that he got winded brushing his teeth.
Lung transplants and life expectancy
People can live for 5, 10, or even 20 years after having one. About 87 percent of CF patients who receive lung transplants will live another year. Close to 50 percent of those who receive a lung transplant will survive for an extra 9 years.
Median survival following a lung transplant is four to six years, but it's possible to live much longer. Your individual prognosis depends on many factors, such as your age, where you get the surgery, and follow-up care. Because lungs are so fragile, life expectancy is shorter than with other solid organ transplants.
The outlook for people who have had a lung transplant has improved in recent years and it's expected to continue improving. In 2022, the NHS Blood and Transplant service reported that on average: 83 people out of 100 live for 1 year after a lung transplant. 55 people our of 100 live for 5 years after a lung transplant.
There is a large variety of causes of death after lung transplantation with a dominant role of infection, CLAD and carcinoma. With increasing follow-up time, infection becomes less prevalent and CLAD and carcinoma are observed more frequently.
The lungs have higher rates of rejection compared to other transplanted organs, as lungs tend to have a stronger immune response than other organs. The most common long-term complication of lung transplant is chronic rejection.
Main complications of a lung transplant: It is a major operation and comes with surgical risks, like bleeding. You will need to take strong medicines to suppress your immune system. You may need further surgery to fix any problems.
Can you have a lung transplant more than once? Yes, this is possible, but not that common. Retransplantation accounts for about 4 percent of lung transplant procedures.
After your lung transplant—major surgery for which you prepared carefully—you'll likely enjoy a significantly improved quality of life. Most patients who have a transplant due to the effects of pulmonary fibrosis (PF) breathe better, increase their activity, and can discontinue supplemental oxygen.
Accordingly, survival after a lung transplant is higher in Australia than anywhere else. Regardless of the form of transplant (single lung, double lung or heart and double lung) the majority of patients (approximately 93%) will live at least a year or more following their transplant with 70% living 5 or more years.
It usually takes at least 3 to 6 months to fully recover from transplant surgery. For the first 6 weeks after surgery, avoid pushing, pulling or lifting anything heavy. You'll be encouraged to take part in a rehabilitation programme involving exercises to build up your strength.
The lung transplant survival rate one year after transplant is 88 percent. After 3 years, the lung transplant survival rate is 73 percent. The 5-year lung transplant survival rate is 60 percent.
Do NOT drink alcoholic beverages. This includes non-alcoholic beers, which still contain small amounts of alcohol. Alcohol is metabolized (broken down) by the liver and causes damage which can lead to liver failure. Imuran, cyclosporine, and Bactrim are also metabolized in the liver.
Lungs from donors with a chronological age of 45 and older can safely be transplanted, but the stakes may be higher for such allografts especially in combination with other extended donor criteria.
Social and Emotional Adjustment After Transplantation
Having a lung transplant may cause fear, anxiety, and stress. After surgery, you may feel overwhelmed, depressed, or worried about complications. All of these feelings are normal for someone going through a major surgery.
Many people with one lung can live to a normal life expectancy, but patients are unable to perform vigorous activities and may still experience shortness of breath. Your chances for recovery from heart and lung transplants today are improved greatly since the first transplant operations done in the 70s and 80s.
A single lung transplant may cost well over $929,600. A double lung transplant may cost well over $1,295,900. A lung transplant combined with another organ transplant, most commonly the heart, may cost well over $2,600,000. The majority of transplant costs are usually covered by public or private insurance.
The first year after the transplant — when surgical complications, rejection and infection pose the greatest threats — is the most critical period. Although some people have lived 10 years or more after a lung transplant, only about half the people who undergo the procedure are still alive after five years.
You can usually go abroad around 12 months after your lung transplant. In general, overseas trips before this are not recommended.
Because of the fragility of the lung, the survival rates for lung transplant patients are not as good as for other solid organ transplants, with a five-year survival rate of about 50-60%.
When treatment for an acute lung rejection doesn't work, the patient can develop chronic rejection of the new lung. This can lead to: Bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS): The bronchioles are affected by thickening in the airway of the lungs, causing air to come in but not out (similar to asthma).
During lung transplant surgery, you are asleep and pain-free (under general anesthesia). A surgical cut is made in the chest. Lung transplant surgery is often done with the use of a heart-lung machine. This device does the work of your heart and lungs while your heart and lungs are stopped for the surgery.
Your medications after transplant are expected to cost between $5,000 and $7,000 per month. You will need to take approximately 10 medications during the initial period following transplant. After transplant the medications may decrease in the dose and number of medications taken may gradually decrease.