Lung and Heart-Lung Transplant
UCLA Performs First Breathing Lung Transplantation in U.S.
The lung transplant team at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical successfully performed the nation's first "breathing lung" transplant in mid-November. The patient, a 57-year-old who suffered from pulmonary fibrosis - a disease in which the air sacs of the lungs are gradually replaced by scar tissue - is recuperating from the seven-hour surgery.
The groundbreaking transplant involved an experimental organ-preservation device known as the Organ Care System (OCS), which keeps donor lungs functioning and "breathing" in a near-physiologic state outside the body during transport. The current standard involves transporting donor lungs in a non-functioning, non-breathing state inside an icebox. Watch video »
Lung and Heart-Lung Transplantation at UCLA
Lung transplantation has become an effective and successful treatment option for end-stage lung disease. The first UCLA lung transplant was performed in 1990. Under the leadership of Dr. Abbas Ardehali, Professor of Surgery in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery and Director of the UCLA Heart, Lung and Heart-Lung Transplant Programs, the program has shown substantial growth and has pioneered innovative strategies for patients with end stage lung diseases. Dr. David Ross, Professor of Medicine who specializes in Pulmonary Diseases, is the Medical Director of the Lung and Heart-Lung Transplant Program and Director of the Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension Program.
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The experienced UCLA lung transplant team, directed by Dr. Ardehali and Dr. Ross has performed over 450 lung transplants and emerged as one of the largest lung transplant programs in the country. The UCLA lung transplant team consists of cardiothoracic transplant surgeons, pulmonologists, transplant coordinators, cardiologists, infectious disease specialists, psychiatrists, social workers, dieticians, pulmonary rehabilitation specialists and other specialists as needed. They work as a team to optimize the pre and post transplant care of the lung transplant patient. Advances in donor preservation techniques, surgical techniques and immunosuppressive medication have steadily improved the results of lung transplantation. Moreover, improvements in post-transplant care have significantly impacted the quality of life in lung transplant patients. The UCLA lung transplant program has championed the philosophy of extended lung transplantation to higher risk candidates. The programs criteria for candidacy have extended to older age recipients (> 70 years).
After development of a programmatic protocol for extensive screening and evaluation, the program routinely evaluates and transplants patients with end-stage lung disease complicated by concurrent cardiac disease. Candidates may require simultaneous coronary bypass grafting or valvular repair at the time of lung transplantation. Candidates with collagen vascular diseases such as; scleroderma, mixed connective tissue disease, rheumatoid arthritis and polymyositosis have also been successfully transplanted with superior outcomes.
The UCLA lung transplant program provides comprehensive care and formulates an individualized strategy to improve the quality of life for patients with end stage lung disease. The multidisciplinary and innovative nature of the program has yielded substantial improvements in patient survival and quality of life. The UCLA lung transplant program is Medicare certified.
Lung transplant is surgery to replace one or both diseased lungs with healthy lungs from a human donor.
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Frequently Asked Questions
- How is my care coordinated between my doctor and Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center?
- What happens at the evaluation appointment?
- What are the options for transplantation?
- Who will coordinate my care at UCLA?
- How do I prepare for a transplant?
- How long will I be in the hospital?
- Who will take care of my health needs after I leave the hospital?
The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) provides a toll-free patient services lines to help transplant candidates, recipients, and family members understand organ allocation practices and transplantation data. You may also call this number to discuss problems you may be experiencing with your transplant center or the transplantation system in general. The toll-free patient services line number is 1-888-894-6361