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Understanding Lung Transplantation series : Indications

Dr. Unmil B Shah, Saturday, March 13, 2021

Understanding  Lung Transplantation series : Indications

Lung Transplantation is a surgical treatment which becomes definitive for select End Stage Lung Disease patients.

End Stage Lung Disease means severe form of a lung disease where the lung functions are seriously compromised.

This leads to dependency on Oxygen support most of the times. Lung Diseases like Interstitial Lung Diseases (Lung Fibrosis), COPD ( Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease), Bronchiectasis , etc are likely to progress sometimes fast leading to End Stage Lung Disease stage.

With Covid-19 pandemic, novel indication for Lung Transplantation has been added i.e. post-covid progressive End Stage Lung Disease . Another medical condition called  Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension also forms a subset which might require Lung Transplantation if not adequately controlled on medications. It’s a Pulmonary Vascular Disease which is  progressive and  characterized by high blood pressure (hypertension) in the arteries of the lungs (pulmonary artery).

Lung Transplantation in such select End Stage Lung Disease patients can extend life expectancy and significantly improve Quality of Life. Its important to refer early to Lung Transplant clinics so that patients and their family members are educated about Lung Transplantation, its Indications and Contra-Indications, Types of Transplant ( Double Lung / Combined Heart Lung/ Single Lung ), Importance of Pulmonary Rehabilitation, etc. Pre-Transplant evaluation is a must following which listing of patient needs to be decided.

Referral to Lung Transplant clinic doesn’t imply the candidacy for Lung Transplantation. A thorough risk assessment helps in developing risk reduction strategies pre-operatively. 

Dr. Unmil B Shah

Consultant - Transplant Pulmonology

Institute of Heart-Lung Transplant, KIMS Hospitals, Sec-bad



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