Do You Need a Lung Transplant?

Lung disease is called end-stage when it has significantly worsened. Your lungs have a difficult time supplying the body with oxygen and pushing out gases like carbon dioxide. As a result, you may tire easily, become short of breath, wheeze or cough all the time.

If treatments such as medications and supplemental oxygen do not help, your doctor may recommend a lung transplant. The expert team at Henry Ford has been performing lung transplants since 1994.

Causes of lung failure

Common causes of lung failure include:

Screening for lung transplant surgery

You must complete several medical tests before you can be considered for a lung transplant. These tests include:

  • Physical exam, including medical history
  • Blood and tissue typing
  • Blood tests, including tests for HIV and hepatitis
  • Lung culture
  • Lung and kidney function tests
  • Urinalysis
  • Imaging, including chest X-ray and computed tomography (CT) chest scan
  • Heart tests, including echocardiogram (ECG), electrocardiogram (EKG) and heart catheterization

Additional lung transplant requirements

To move forward with the lung transplant process, you also must meet additional criteria:

  • Complete a mental health assessment: This testing identifies issues that may negatively affect your transplant process and recovery.
  • Abstain from substance use: You must not consume alcohol or use tobacco products or prohibited substances for at least 6 months prior to your transplant. You should avoid these substances after your transplant as well. Henry Ford offers addiction treatment and tobacco treatment services.
  • Form a support team: You will need a committed network of caregivers who can help you during your recovery.
Take the next step

Speak with a Transplant Institute specialist.