A New Future for Cystic Fibrosis
Surgical innovations improve treatment for this common genetically transmitted disease.
Cystic fibrosis at a glance
- An inherited genetic disorder affecting about 30,000 people in the U.S.
- Causes a thickening of the mucus in the lungs, which plugs up passageways and traps bacteria.
- Leads to chronic lung infections and permanent lung damage.
- Double lung transplant can extend and improve quality of life for cystic fibrosis patients.
Lung transplant by the numbers
2,327 patients received a lung transplant for cystic fibrosis and other conditions in 2016.
Only 1% of hospitals offer lung transplant.
Transplant is improving the future for people with cystic fibrosis.
Surgical techniques allow the transplantation of both lungs while reducing the risk of infecting the donor lungs. Surgeons tailor their method based on the individual needs of the patient.
One lung is replaced, then the other. A double lumen tube is used to keep the new and old lungs separate so infection does not reach the transplanted lung while the second lung is being placed.
Both lungs are removed and a bypass pump takes over breathing. With bypass in place, the airway can be cleaned so that infectious fluids don’t reach the new lungs.
The result can be a much better quality of life.
Cystic fibrosis does not recur in transplanted lungs. Patients who receive lung transplants report an improved quality of life.
- Easier breathing
- More energy
- Return to activities they love
Source: MayoClinic.org; CFF.org; AHA.org; NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov.