Though many diseases affect the lungs, not all lung diseases are treated with a lung transplant. The most common diseases that lead to lung transplantation are cystic fibrosis, pulmonary hypertension, bronchiolitis obliterans and interstitial lung disease. Other diseases that damage the lungs and can lead to transplant include:
Many types of lung disease may lead to end-stage pulmonary
failure. In some cases, the lung disease may also severely affect the
function of the heart, which may necessitate a heart and lung
Your child may be a candidate for lung transplant if:
The other criteria
are that your child has a reasonable opportunity to survive until
transplant, to survive the surgery and to recover to a near normal
Some children with congenital heart disease develop pulmonary hypertension and have congenital heart defects that cannot be fixed with surgery. These children are potential candidates for pediatric heart-lung transplantation. Patients with severe liver and lung disease may also be candidates for lung-liver transplantations.
Most infants, children and adolescents who are candidates will receive 2 lungs from a deceased donor who has been diagnosed with brain death. Bilateral or double lung transplant organs are matched by blood type and the height of the donor and recipient. Children 12 years of age or older are listed with a lung score as well. The standard transplant operation involves several hours of cardiopulmonary bypass (a heart-lung machine), and the operation takes approximately 6 to 10 hours.
In unusual circumstances, heart-lung transplantation or lung-liver transplantation may be necessary. The heart and lungs of a single donor are implanted together while the child is on cardiopulmonary bypass. The same surgeons who perform the isolated lung transplantation also perform this procedure. In the lung-liver scenario, the lung transplant is done first and then a second surgical team joins the operation and performs the liver transplant with the organs coming from the same donor. In this case, the operation can easily extend to 10 hours or more.
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