Lung transplant patient exercising
Various therapies before transplant may help improve your breathing while you wait for a donor lung.
Mayo Clinic doctors offer many therapies to help people manage their lung conditions while waiting for lung transplants. You may wait months to years for a lung transplant. Your lung condition may worsen over time, but doctors will work with you to support your lung function.
One procedure that may help ease your breathing as you wait is tracheostomy. Your doctor makes a small hole in your throat and into your windpipe (trachea) and inserts a breathing tube into the trachea. A machine that helps support your breathing (a mechanical ventilator) may be connected to the breathing tube.
If you have a lung transplant or other treatment and you don't need the tracheostomy any longer, your breathing tube will be removed. The hole in your neck usually closes on its own, but doctors sometimes may need to perform surgery to close the hole.
Staff also will work with you in pulmonary rehabilitation to help improve your breathing in daily life activities while you wait for a transplant. The program may help you improve your endurance, strength and flexibility.
You'll also be given lifestyle recommendations, such as eating a healthy diet, exercising, and avoiding alcohol and tobacco. You may have medications to help manage your lung condition until you have a lung transplant.
Sept. 08, 2017
- Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients. http://www.srtr.org/default.aspx. Accessed July 14, 2016.
- U.S. News Best Hospitals 2015-16. U.S. News & World Report. http://health.usnews.com/best-hospitals/rankings. Accessed Feb. 22, 2016.
- Riggin EA. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 22, 2016.
- Erasmus DB (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Fla. August 3, 2016.
- AskMayoExpert. Lung transplantation. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2015.
- Barbara Woodward Lips Patient Education Center. About your lung transplant. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2006.
- Hachem RR. Lung transplantation: General guidelines for recipient selection. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 15, 2016.
- Barbara Woodward Lips Patient Education Center. Planning for your transplant: A financial guide. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2009.
- Sherman W, et al. Lung transplantation and coronary artery disease. The Annals of Thoracic Surgery. 2011;92:303.
- What is coronary angiography? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/ca/. Accessed July 15, 2016.
- What is a tracheostomy? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/trach/. Accessed July 15, 2016.
- What is a lung transplant? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/lungtxp/. Accessed July 15, 2016.
- Wilson ME, et al. Pretransplant frailty is associated with decreased survival after lung transplantation. The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation. 2016;35:173.
- Chandrashekaran S, et al. Weight loss prior to lung transplantation is associated with improved survival. The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation. 2015;34:651.
- Aho JM, et al. Closure of a recurrent bronchopleural fistula using a matrix seeded with patient-derived mesenchymal stem cells. Stem Cells Translational Medicine. 2016;5:1. http://www.stemcellstm.com. Accessed July l5, 2016.
- Single-lung transplant patient discharged. Mayovox. August 1990;37:9.
- Halum SL. A multi-institutional analysis of tracheotomy complications. Laryngoscope. 2012;122:38.