Benefits and risks of a lung transplant
How a lung transplant can help and problems that might occur
- A lung transplant is the best treatment for some patients with end-stage lung failure
- Most people who have a lung transplant do very well
- However, not every patient feels better or lives longer after having a transplant
- There can be serious risks from the surgery and the transplant medicines
What are the benefits?
In carefully selected patients, a lung transplant is usually the best treatment for lung failure in patients who are fit enough for the operation.
Main advantages of a successful lung transplant:
- Most lung transplant patients live longer
- Most patients enjoy a better quality of life
- Higher energy levels
- Work and travel is easier
- Improved sex life
- Increased fertility
What are the risks?
A lung transplant requires complex surgery and can cause problems for some patients.
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
- Though rare, it is possible that the transplanted lung doesn’t work
- There is a risk of dying, this is higher in the first few months after the operation
Average survival statistics
80 in 100
Patients are alive one year after a lung transplant*
52 to 59 in 100
Patients are alive five years after a lung transplant*
Discuss your options with your doctor
If you’re considering a lung transplant, your first step is to talk to your lung doctor.
If you and your doctor agree a lung transplant may be a good treatment for you, they will arrange for you to have a series of tests.