Lung transplant surgery

Find out what happens during the transplant operation

Key points

  • You will be put to sleep under a general anaesthetic while the transplant takes place
  • The surgery will take 6-8 hours
  • Your lung or lungs are removed and the transplanted lung or lungs are put into your chest
  • The operation can be performed a variety of ways, which will depend on your needs and the preference of the transplant surgeon

How is lung transplant surgery performed?

Donor lungs are transplanted in the same place as your old lungs. This involves the removal of the diseased lung and replacement with the donor lung. There are different ways that a lung can be transplanted. The surgical team caring for you will explain their preferred technique, and which would be best for you.

Example of a surgical lung transplant technique 

A transplant operation

After you have been put to sleep under anaesthetic, the surgery will begin.

The removal of your diseased lung requires careful dissection from your heart and chest wall.

The donor lung is stitched into exactly the same place as your old lung.

Some things that might happen during your lung transplant surgery

More information

Medical terms explained 


This is when a very small piece of tissue is taken for analysis. It is used to diagnose rejection.


View all medical terms

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