Things to Know about Lung Transplants
Lung Transplantation or Pulmonary Transplantation is the process of replacing the diseased lung with a healthy lung either entirely or partially. Healthy Lung comes from a donor; the donor can either be alive or dead. A living donor is helpful when a donor requires only one lung. But, in case the patient is suffering from critical lung diseases like cystic fibrosis, pulmonary fibrosis, etc. then he needs transplantation for both the lungs. In such situations, the doctor retrieves the lung for replacement from a deceased donor.
Why Undergo Lung Transplantation?
A patient requires Lung Transplantation to experience healthy living when he suffers from end-stage pulmonary diseases. The surgery can help you to get back to your personal and professional life, that was probably suffering due to lung diseases. Lung disorders do not only lead to physical interference, but it is an emotional trauma too.
Lung Transplantation is helpful for patients who cannot find a cure for diseases with medicines due to a highly critical lung condition. The doctors consider lung transplant surgery for patients impaired with lung failure due to:
- COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases.
- Primary Pulmonary Hypertension.
- Pulmonary and Cystic Fibrosis.
- Failure of Lung Transplantation and
- Antitrypsin Deficiency.
What Do You Need to Know Before Lung Transplantation?
To undergo a lung transplant; the patient has to undergo the complete diagnosis process first. Once the surgeon approves him for the transplantation surgery, he can plan to begin with surgical procedure.
Before that, it is essential for the patient to know about:
The processing of surgery:
Even after the approval from the doctor, you directly cannot undergo surgery. He will first list you amongst the candidates for lung transplantation. Then he will contact you once he finds a suitable donor. The proceedings end up with lung transplant surgery and finally, the recovery process.
Risks of Lung Transplantation:
Lung Transplant surgery is a critical medical procedure as it involves high complications. Apart from the usual risks like bleeding, clotting and infection that associates with almost all operations, lung transplant involves:
- Gastrointestinal Inflammation.
- Ulcers in the stomach.
- Post Transplant Disorders also called Lymphoproliferative Disorder.
- Last and the most crucial one is Lung Transplant Rejection.
A doctor and patient can immediately find out if the body does not accept the transplantation through signs and symptoms. The signs of lung transplant rejection are:
- Nausea and Dizziness.
- Tenderness and chest pain.
- There exists noticeable fluctuation in the body weight within 24 hours of Lung Transplantation.
- Breathing issues.
- Increase in pulmonary disorders.
- The patient may also face problems like chills, flu and night-sweats.
Life changes after the surgery:
You cannot jump back to your routine right after the surgery. A patient has to be under observation on a ventilator for a minimum duration of 8 to 12 hours. The doctors practice this method after the surgery to monitor if the patient is able to breathe adequately or not. After that, the surgeon shifts you to the intensive care unit for a minimum duration of 72 hours. Here, your complete body is under monitoring, to know if the body accepts the newly transplanted organ.
After you recover back to your senses, doctors shift you to intermediate ICU. Here, your family can meet you, but you have to follow the instructions of the doctor strictly. you cannot skip the medicines. Follow the diet and therapies as directed by your nurse.
The recovery period of patients differs inevitably depending upon the severity of their condition. Usually, the recovery period lasts between three to six months.
Even after you recover entirely, you have to avoid smoking and alcohol consumption. You must shift to a balanced nutritious diet and add basic exercises to your daily routine. If you want to prevent complications and improve the quality of life after Lung Transplantation; adapt to a disciplined lifestyle.
Precautions Before and After the Lung Transplantation:
Consider weight management before the surgery. Say no to drug abuse and smoking habit for a minimum span of six to nine weeks. Do not eat anything on the day of surgery. The doctor may ask you to stop taking medicines for other diseases, if any. After the recovery, the patient must visit the doctor periodically for a check-up, as there are chances of failure even after the rehabilitation period.
Prerequisite of a Probable Donor:
It is essential for a living donor to fulfil particular requirements for Lung Transplantation. The first and foremost requirement is that the donor must be fit and healthy. He must not suffer from any chronic disorders. The lung of the donor and recipient must be of the same size. Apart from that, the age of the donor also matters. The living donor must be below the age of 45 years. It is also crucial that the donor has the same blood type as that of the recipient.
Visa or Travelling Needs:
Not all the treatments are successful and affordable in your own country. So, a patient may have to travel to a different country to receive adequate treatment. In case you think of getting in touch with a medical tourism partner, consider approaching the top medical tourism company of that particular country. This will help you with the visa process, travelling arrangements, accommodation and various other treatment requisites.
Cost is the most crucial factor, not only for Lung Transplantation but for all types of complex operation and organ transplant. So, it is essential to get the quote for treatment before beginning with the process. This will help you with mental and financial stability.
Apart from all the things specified above, the most important thing for a patient is to know whether or not he is a candidate for Lung Transplantation.
Are You a Potential Candidate for Lung Transplantation?
It is a bitter reality that not everyone suffering from critical lung disorders can undergo Lung Transplantation. The doctors perform surgery only on potential candidates with:
- Stable psychological profile.
- The candidate must be within the acceptable weight and age limits.
- Doctors usually reject patients suffering from chronic lung infections and lung cancer.
- Candidates who are affected by HIV cannot undertake Lung Transplantation. However, surgeons consider certain cases with low viral HIV infection.
- The patient must not suffer from any other organ failure like heart or lung.
Read the blog above carefully to know all the details necessary for Lung Transplantation. Make sure you have a family or friend who accompanies you during the surgery, as you might need support after the Lung Transplantation. Also, consider taking immunosuppressive drugs to avoid organ rejection.
Visit the doctor regularly so that he can keep a check if the drugs do not lead to any side-effects in your body. If you take all the information specified above into consideration before the surgery, there are higher chances of a successful Lung Transplantation.