Alternate Names : Pulmonary Transplant, Transplantation of the Lungs
What happens later at home?
At home, the recipient can expect a slow but steady recovery. Walking is encouraged to help prevent pneumonia and other lung complications. Walking also helps the person to regain strength. Heavy lifting and straining should be avoided for several weeks. Driving is permitted once the incision heals.
What are the potential complications after the procedure?
There are several complications that can affect a recipient of a lung transplant. Some of these can occur right after the surgery and others can occur at any time for the rest of the person's life. Complications include:
infection. A person who takes immunosuppressant medications is more vulnerable to infection. Some infections are minor but some can be life threatening. This is especially true for infections that affect the lungs directly.
major bleeding. This is rare, but in some cases, there is a lot of scarring on the lung and other nearby tissue. These areas may bleed. Sometimes a second operation is needed to remove any blood clots and control the bleeding.
rejection. The body's normal response to a transplanted organ is to reject it. Even though they take medications to prevent rejection, most recipients will have one or more episodes of rejection. These are treated by increasing the dose of the medication or switching to a different medication.
cancer. This is another long-term problem with immunosuppressant medications. The most common cancers that develop are skin cancer and lymphoma, a cancer of the white blood cells.