Heart-Lung Transplant

Definition

This is a surgery to remove a severely diseased and damaged heart and lungs. They are replaced with a healthy heart and lungs from a deceased donor.
The Heart and Lungs
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Reasons for Procedure

A heart-lung transplant is done if you have:
  • An irreversible, life-threatening lung disease that affects the heart (but are in otherwise good health)—An example of this is severe pulmonary hypertension (an increase in blood pressure in the lung's blood vessels).
  • Had other treatments that have not been successful, such as, surgery and medication

Possible Complications

If you are planning to have a heart-lung transplant, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:
  • Infection
  • Rejection of the donor heart or lungs
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Pneumonia
  • Blood clots
  • Bleeding
  • Decreased brain functioning
  • Damage to other organs, like the kidneys
  • Irregular heart rate
  • Anesthesia-related problems
  • Infection or cancer related to taking immunosuppressive medications
  • Death
Complications are more likely to occur in people 60 years of age and older. Some factors that may increase the risk of complications include:Be sure to discuss these risks with your doctor before the procedure.

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